One of the main reasons for using props in Yoga is so that we are able to make connections. For instance, if our hands cannot reach our feet in seated forward fold, or Paschimottanasana, we can wrap a strap around the bottoms of our feet and hold it in our hands. If we cannot reach the floor in triangle pose, or Trikonasana, we can place a block on the floor for our hand to rest on. I suppose there would be no harm in letting your hands just reach in the direction you are heading while hanging out in space, but connection feels good. There is satisfaction and stability in connection.
While practicing a Yin or restorative practice, we use bolsters, blocks and blankets so that we can feel held up and supported while holding the poses for long periods of time. These poses would be way too intense to hold for such long stretches without a little help.
Placing your hands together in prayer position energetically connects the two sides of your body. This symbolizes the two sides of every human being, the yin and the yang, the light and the dark, the weak and strong. To have a healthy relationship with your body and the person living inside of it, you must connect to and accept the complimentary opposites dwelling there.
Not only is it pleasing to know this support is there for us on the mat, but we also need to know it exists for us in the world. And we need it everywhere. We need it with the people we live with, the people we confide in, the people we work with, the people we take class with, the people we stand in line with, the people who serve us, the people we serve, the people who have felt our same pain, the people who have felt our same joy. We can survive for a time without connections and that time can even provide valuable insight and reflection. But just like in our Yin practice, there comes a time when we need to know that something is there for us to rest and relax on.
As your body becomes more open through your Yoga practice, you will begin to live with an openness that allows you to find connections in the most unexpected places. That has been one of the most significant gifts I have received from my Yoga. I have cultivated a stronger ability to connect wherever I go and I am daily reminded to meet every person I see with Namaste in my heart.
“I honor the place in your where the whole universe dwells; a place of love, truth, light and peace. When you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, we are ONE.”