Restorative yoga and meditation can help you ease stress to prevent or reduce burnout, but you may think, “I’m not flexible enough for yoga,” or “My mind is too scattered for meditation.”
I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard those comments.
Restorative yoga and meditation IS for you. There is no “right” pose. No one’s mind is calm and clear all the time. Yoga IS for every body. Meditation is for every mind. I believe everyone can find at least one entry into this diverse practice. That’s why I teach these practices in coaching sessions and include restorative yoga classes in my coaching community.
I strongly recommend the use of props to help your body become more comfortable in meditation or to help you access a pose you thought impossible for your body.
Here are the five yoga props I use myself and recommend the most for those who want an accessible and comfortable home yoga practice.
Use a bolster for restorative yoga*
When a yoga teacher refers to a bolster, this is most often what they mean. This long, rectangular cushion can help you sit more comfortably on the floor during meditation or seated movement. You can use it for extra height under the knees while lying on your back. Or you can support the upper body in a restorative yoga pose. You can even use it as a prop to help you get into some of those seemingly impossible arm balances. This is probably the prop I use most in my personal home practice and teaching.
Learn more/order Standard Yoga Bolster by Hugger Mugger.
Meditation cushion for wider hips*
The right meditation cushion can really make or break your ability to stay in the moment in meditation. For years, my hips felt terrible when I sat on the floor. Then I learned that sitting on the right cushion for my proportions helped support my lower back and create ease for my tight outer hips. I was overjoyed when I found this meditation cushion that is comfortable enough for wider hips. This prop also works well for support under the sacrum when doing postures like supported bridge pose or legs up the wall. Or sometimes I use it as a foot rest because it’s so comfy!
Learn more/order Zafu Meditation Cushion from Bean Products.
A yoga strap for short limbs and tight hamstrings*
A staple in most yoga classes and home practices, a yoga strap is usually used to make your arms longer when you’re grabbing for your foot, bringing your hands together around your back or reaching to bind the hands in any posture. They are especially useful for people who have shorter arms as compared to their torso or, if your legs are long and hamstrings tight, when grabbing for a foot. They also travel really easily if you want to keep up a practice while on the road.
Learn more/order Cotton Cinch 6″ Yoga Strap by Hugger Mugger
Yoga blocks so you can reach the ground*
Yoga blocks are another yoga class staple that can be used in standing poses like triangle pose that invite you to reach for the ground while in wide-legged poses. You can use them to support the knees when in a cross-legged position. Or you can sit on them when in a squat to protect the knees.
Learn more/order Recycled 4″ Yoga Block by Hugger Mugger
Yoga blankets heighten your hips*
These firm blankets can be used in a myriad of ways, such as folded under your hips in seated poses or for extra height in a restorative pose, rolled under the shoulders for a heart-opener or spread over you to cover up and stay warm in a resting pose.
Learn more/order Mexican Yoga Blanket by Hugger Mugger
Learn more from my experience starting a restorative yoga and meditation practice
Learn how to settle your body and mind for restorative yoga and meditation and how to get through when your meditation practice sucks.
Try my guided meditations and yoga practices for beginners that lower stress and help you get better sleep.
Join the free community and ask questions about starting a restorative yoga and meditation practice, try one of my Zoom yoga classes free, and share your favorite props and practices, too. We learn from each other here!
* I am an affiliate for Hugger Mugger and Bean Products, which makes these props. I get a small commission if you buy them using these links. I’m only an affiliate for companies for which I’ve used personally and that share my values. I tell you this because I value honesty and transparency.
Love this so much! I have had such a negative experience with yoga but want to get back to my practice. Yin yoga has always been my favorite. And thank you for all of the prop suggestions. That is very helpful.
Great and simple list — so helpful for those of us who overthink everything and hesitate to get started with something that would be so beneficial for us!
Tirra, I’m so glad this inspired you. I hope you resume your practice!
Simple is always a great place to start. Maybe just let your body move however it’s going to move and see where it goes?