Lately, I’m attracting more attention at my local yoga studio than usual.
Well, you can’t miss me.
I roll in with a puffy yoga mat, a large rectangular yoga bolster and a tote bag filled with blocks, a blanket, a strap, a tennis ball, a journal, water, fuzzy socks, tissues and anything else I might need during my practice.
I guess you could say I don’t travel light.
Many of my yogi friends show up with their mat and borrow the rest from the studio, which is what I did for years.
But, now I’m bringing all of my own gear and this is why.
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1. Using my own props signals relaxation.
Think about your favorite coffee mug you reach for in the mornings or those soft, cozy sleepy pants that make you smile when you pull them on. Ahhh!
When I see my squishy yoga mat, I get those same warm, fuzzy feelings. And, it’s contagious.
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I just got a new pecan-leaf patterned bolster that triggers happy, relaxing thoughts of being outdoors among the beautiful trees. Hello, bliss!
Why wouldn’t I bring something with me to yoga class that makes me instantly feel calm and comforted? For me, it’s my props!
2. Using my own props reduces immune system issues.
So, it’s no secret that I have a wacky immune system. I have four chronic skin conditions that get triggered by laundry detergent, cosmetics, shampoo… anything with a fragrance or dye, really. Sharing pillows and blankets with others just isn’t a good idea.
Plus, when flu and cold season pops up, I’m a magnet for those germs. When I get sick, I’m down for weeks, not days, so it’s best that I avoid any unnecessary exposure lingering on shared props.
Sure, mats get wiped down and blankets washed, but with my malfunctioning immune system, I don’t like to take any extra chances.
3. Using my own props personalizes my practice.
Finally, bringing my own props means I can get into each pose in a way that I know works for me.
For example, I use blocks often to support my wrists, which get sore from an inflammatory form of arthritis. I choose to bring narrow-width blocks so I can fully grip the most slender width, rather than resting my hands on the tops. (Think of supported triangle.) It’s more comfortable for me.
I also like having a super thick, sturdy bolster to support my bent arms and torso in lizard lunges, rather than harder blocks. Again, it makes this pose more accessible, so I can fully enjoy my practice.
Do you bring your own mat (or more) to yoga classes away from home? Why or why not? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! And do you have any amazing props to recommend to someone with inflammation and joint pain? I’m all ears!
Until next time,
PS: Wonder what I’m up to today? Visit me on Facebook at Cupcakes and Yoga Pants!