Prop Yourself Up in Meditation

Prop Yourself Up in Meditation

Meditation in a seated position requires great effort to hold such a simple seat diligently for long periods of time. What if there was a way to make this a little easier on the body for the sake of the mind?

Over the course of the evolution of meditation, several types of meditation cushions and props have been designed. These props make sitting in meditation more comfortable so the practitioner can meditate longer, therefore receiving greater benefit from the practice.

But comfort is not the only factor here- proper alignment of the body while seated is essential. It is important that the spine is long with the hips relaxed and chest open in good alignment. One must never compromise the integrity of the spine during meditation. After all, the mind and body are connected.

Some of these types of meditation cushions include props such as the zafu, zabuton, and meditation stool. While they all have similarities, they each serve a different function. They originate from Eastern styles of meditation in particular, like in the zazen tradition, but can be utilized for any style of meditation to promote comfort and ease.


The Zafu

This type of meditation cushion, the zafu, is a round pillow commonly used in the zazen style of Buddhist meditation from Japan. The word itself is Japanese and translates to “sewn seat”. They are traditionally made out of soft, plant-based fibers. Their purpose is to elevate the hips while in a seated cross-legged position, which helps lengthen the spine and relax the hips for comfort during meditation.


Traditional practitioners of zazen meditation perform a gassho ritual of bowing to the meditation cushion, their teachers and the other meditators in the session before starting and after finishing. However, this type of meditation cushion can be used for any sort of seated meditation, too.

The Zabuton

The zabuton is another kind of meditation cushion that originates from Japan, which can be used with or without the zafu. Whereas the zafu is round, the zabuton is square. In traditional zazen meditation, it is used as an additional cushion underneath the zafu. It allows additional comfort for the legs and knees in particular. However, it can also be used as meditation cushion on its own without the zafu for other styles of meditation.

Meditation Stool

For those unable to sit on their hips comfortably in a cross-legged position, a meditation stool is available for them to practice meditation on. Also called a meditation bench, these meditation stools are small benches typically made out of wood. However, the position one meditates in on this bench is different from the cushions.

To use the meditation stool, the practitioner must assume the seiza position, which is a kneeling position. It is performed by kneeling on the knees and sitting the hips on the bench. Here, the hips are still elevated to lengthen the spine and release any discomfort from pressure on the feet.

Have you tried any of these meditation props? They can be a life-changing way to enhance any meditation practice for greater peace and stress relief for the body and mind.

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A Simple Yoga for Stress Reduction

A Simple Yoga for Stress Reduction

Our lives get busy and often our minds get in the way. You may tell yourself you don't have time to feel good or allow self-doubt to creep in regularly. You look at your collection of yoga mats and props at home with shame that they aren't getting used.

But what if you gave yourself just a little time and got out of your own way in only 5 minutes? This will greatly help you relieve stress from daily life so that you feel like your best self every day. All you need is yourself, a yoga block, and some mala beads. Yoga mats not even required!

  Sukhasana / Easy Pose with Mala Beads Sukhasana with Mala Beads

Easy Pose is a simple cross-legged position that is great for meditation. Simply sit with your legs crossed and your spine tall. If this feels uncomfortable in any way, elevate your hips by sitting on a yoga block. Yoga blocks help lift the hips so the knees can relax and the spine can lengthen out of the hips. Keep the neck long and shoulders stacked over the hips. Imagine you have a cord connecting you to the earth and sky through your spine.

From here, you can use your mala beads for a Japa meditation. Mala beads have ancient and traditional roots from India that lend itself to a practice called Japa meditation, where you recite a mantra 108 times. Most mala beads are necklaces made out of a string 108 beads (or a multiple of 9) that you count with your fingers.

This number is said to be an auspicious number in yoga philosophy for many reasons. According to astronomy, the diameter of the sun is 108 times that of Earth and the distance between our planet and the sun is also 108 times the diameter of the sun. There are also 108 Upanishads, one of the foundational texts in yogic philosophy.

The word mala means garland in Sanskrit and refers to the use of these beads in a necklace. Because chanting a mantra 108 times can be difficult to track, using mala beads will help the practitioner stay focused on the meditation. There is one bead in the center called the guru bead which tells the practitioner when to stop. The Sanskrit word guru means from darkness to light, so this practice helps increase wisdom and decrease ignorance as a tool of connecting to your spiritual and personal power.

Mala Beads

There are innumerable mantras you can use for the Japa practice, but one of the most popular ones is “Om Namah Shivaya”. It means “I bow to Shiva”, which is an invocation of truth, love, and grace. To perform the Japa meditation, hold the mala beads in your right hand between your middle finger and thumb with the guru bead pointing toward you. Begin to count the beads one-by-one as you recite the manta with each bead until you reach all the way back to the guru bead.

You can repeat this one time around the set of mala beads and depend on your speed, will only take around 5 minutes. You can also repeat it slower or make multiple rounds to spend more time in meditation. But in the end, if you live a busy lifestyle, this simple pose and meditation will not only relax you but also focus your mind so you can live truthfully from a place with love with grace.

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Tingle Your Senses With Restorative Yoga

Tingle Your Senses With Restorative Yoga

Yoga has been around for centuries, helping people achieve nirvana. Interestingly, several different forms of yoga have come up to suit different needs of different people. The latest one to enter the foray is Restorative Yoga. People who swear by it say that it is the equivalent of having a nap. Restorative yoga is usually accompanied by a couple of props like a blanket, a pillow, an eye bag, a foot strap, and even blocks. There are plenty of restorative yoga books that can help you get started on this particular type of yoga. Restorative yoga excels at helping you centre your breath and body by aligning the mental and physical together. This is done by observing stillness and simple, gentle movement for an extended period of time.

Once you pick up the nuances of restorative yoga and start enjoying its various benefits, you can set a daily routine to start feeling more relaxed and in sync with your mind. The advantages of adding restorative yoga to your life can be plentiful as mentioned here:

  • It soothes the nervous system
  • It encourages more mindfulness
  • It relaxes your body completely
  • It allows you to feel nurtured and safe
  • It also deepness your introspection and self-awareness

All you need to get started is find any class nearby that is teaching restorative yoga and pick it up from there.

Interesting Restorative Yoga Poses

Pick up your props and dive into the any of the amazing poses to start feeling relaxed soon

Supported Reclining Bound Angle

You need to place pillows to form a rectangular stack that comes up to a foot high. Then sit facing this pillow stack with your hips on the floor. Then lean over the pillow stack and slowly place your rib cage and head onto the stack. Wedge a blanket or pillow below your thighs so that your legs relax. Experts recommend using as many props as required till you reach the comfortable and relaxed point. Keep your eyes closed and breathe slowly for five minutes.

Supported Side-Lying Savasana

Make sure you have all your props within easy reach as you will need them for this pose. Keep all the props around your body and lie down on which side you feel most comfortable. You need to place a pillow lengthwise right in front of your torso and bend your legs to place your knee and bottom on top of the pillow. Hold the position for five minutes as you breathe deeply. These restorative yoga sequences will have you relaxed and destressed in no time.

Supported Pigeon Pose

If you have cranky hips, this pose is for you. Place towels and pillows to build support for your pelvis. Then place your hip, knee and your shin on a bolster and straighten your left leg. As your pelvis gets ample support, push your torso forward and breathe deeply for five minutes. Repeat the same pose with your right leg extended.

Practice these restorative yoga poses every day and you will soon start experiencing the different benefits it offers. So pick up your pillows and get ready for a session!

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Say Goodbye To Stress And Fatigue With Some Awesome Yoga Poses

Say Goodbye To Stress And Fatigue With Some Awesome Yoga Poses

Everyday life with its various intricacies and demands cause a lot of people to burn up quickly with all the added stress and fatigue. Since life does not stop for anyone, the only solution left is to learn a few tools to help combat all the pressure and tiredness brought on by trying to win the rat race. Yoga is an excellent stress reliever and can be picked up very easily from any simple instructional yoga video. As you pick up tips on how to focus your attention on your body and your breath, you will start feeling all your anxiety and stress ebbing away. Since anxiety is the top mental illness all over the world, learning yoga is the only way to go.

Yoga Poses To Help You Alleviate Stress

The yoga poses mentioned below are designed primarily for beginners. If you have already tried out yoga earlier, you can mix it up a bit by adding some standing balancing poses.

Anjali Mudra

The Anjali Mudra or the Salutation Seal is a wonderful way of inducing a meditative state of mental awareness. In this pose, both hands are used in the center of the heart chakra. The balance between the physical and mental aspects of the body will help you to prepare yourself for the other yoga asanas.


The Sukhasana or the Easy Pose offers the wonderful benefit of grounding your body and helping you achieve the much sought after inner calm. This is very different from the often seen power yoga poses for weight loss. The easy pose helps you to open up your hips as you lengthen your spine and amplify the tranquillity as the stress and anxiety leave your body as you focus on your breath.


The Marjaryasana or the Cat Pose offers your spine and belly a bit of a gentle massage while it performs its role as a stress buster. This pose is credited by experts to helping stimulate the digestive tract and spinal fluid as the hand wrists are placed directly below the shoulders and the knees are placed below the hips.

Yoga Poses To Reduce Fatigue And Increase Energy

Practicing yoga everyday can help increase the strength and endurance of your body that will help it from getting tired quickly. Here are a few poses that are directed at reducing fatigue specifically:


The Bhujangasana or the Cobra Pose works on your upper back, shoulders, neck and your chest. You can watch a few free yoga videos online before attempting the pose. The cobra pose opens up four chakras in your body and helps to reduce tension, fatigue and stress.

Adho mukha śvānāsana

The Adho mukha śvānāsana or the Downward Dog pose has been credited by yoga experts to have a rejuvenating effect on the mind, spirit and body as it opens as well as lengthens the body that will create a tingling sensation within the body.



The Vrksasana or the Tree pose needs to be held in place for at least thirty seconds to a minute for it to work its magic. As you finish this pose, you will feel a rush of energy flood through your body that makes all the fatigue and tiredness disappear without a trace. If you are stuck at work with no end in respite, just take a minute and hold the Tree pose for a minute. You will find yourself ready to get back to work again.

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Yoga & Yoga Props For Physical And Inner Peace

Yoga & Yoga Props For Physical And Inner Peace

Yoga & Yoga Props For Physical And Inner Peace

As the world turns modern and fast, and technology drowns our planet, the need for the ancient practise of Yoga has seen an equal exponential growth. Its popularity has seen leaps because besides being a good form of exercise, it helps to relax the body and connect you to your inner being. Once you move beyond the initial stages of learning yoga you realise that there are a number of custom yoga props that can be used. Yoga and its accompanying props can release the untold and unknown tension you hold onto your shoulders and head.

Yoga & Yoga Props For Physical And Inner PeaceToday, we give you a list of yoga necessities that can be used by a practitioner. We begin with a basic list for a beginner or amateur and then move to props that can be used for Restorative yoga poses. Yoga outfits: A normal workout wear can become cumbersome because they are too loose. Yoga wear is snug fitting; it does not distract you from achieving the correct pose and thus your inner peace. Yoga mat: Found easily anywhere, try a mat that has a sticky base. It will help you keep your balance better. Look for an organically made mat if you are a true yoga enthusiast. Yoga bag: This is an obvious accessory because it gives you the ability to keep all of your yoga essentials in one place especially if you are carrying a number of props.

These were the basic necessities for yoga. Now we move on to yoga equipments that can be used to perform a yoga pose like restorative yoga poses, used at the end of a yoga session. Foam blocks: One of the most commonly used and highest priority props for yoga, foam blocks can be used for a Reclining Bound Angle Pose

Yoga & Yoga Props For Physical And Inner PeaceYoga Bolster: A bolster can be used in a number of restorative poses, like the child’s pose, supported fish, supported bridge, etc. Each can help you reach a very relaxed state of mind bringing serenity and calm. Meditation Cushion: A sore bottom is not the way to inner peace, which makes yoga cushion a must while holding the meditation pose. The accessory will attune you to your inner being faster.

There are a number of yoga props and accessories like a yoga strap, a meditation stand, a yoga pillow. You can buy them each individually or in a complete kit almost anywhere. Pick the props that are essential to the poses you practice.

But remember, yoga is not about what is without. It is about the within. It is about finding a few minutes of quiet time during the day, trying a few poses and welcoming peace. Begin with holding a few simple poses for a small stretch of time. Use the yoga props, and you will be amazed how serene you feel and the peace they bring to life. Before you go take heed as a yoga practitioner think green and think organic when you buy.

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Zeroing In On The Adept Yoga Bolster For Your Needs

Zeroing In On The Adept Yoga Bolster For Your Needs

Yoga bolster 1Take off a bit of time from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and take the time to relax your muscles, body and mind. People often confuse between resting and sleeping. Often we tend to think both are the same. But in reality, it is not so. During a deep sleep, our brains are working. When we are dreaming, especially during stressful dreams, our brains are being stimulated, and the whole body is under tension. Hence, sleeping doesn’t essentially get you the relaxation of body and mind. Relaxation can be achieved only through yoga sessions. A yoga bolster helps you reach the whole essence of relaxation. But then, there is a wide variety of yoga bolsters available in the market. How to pick the bolster that suits your needs? This blog helps you find an answer to it.

Some Of The Yoga Bolsters Worth Investing In

Round Bolsters:

The perfect substitute for standard bolsters in performing various yoga poses. In theDo-This-Yoga-Sequence-For-Better-Gut-Health (1) yoga poses where the body of the performer is hanging from an edge, like Legs up wall pose, the standard bolsters may seem to be uncomfortable for some. The sides of the bolster may press against the back of the person. In such situations, a round bolster is much more comfortable to use. Another use of round bolsters is during savasana. Standard bolsters might be a bit wide for it. But round bolsters provide the adequate gentle support.

Junior Bolsters:

Junior bolsters are one of the best props yoga for various poses of yoga. It substitutes round and standard bolsters in many cases. The length and firmness of junior bolsters are same as that of round or standard bolsters. But junior bolsters are much narrower than the other two types of bolsters. This makes it the best option for people who has shorter spine lengths. It helps them do the legs up wall pose easier. Junior bolsters are also a great option for passive chest openings. The narrow width helps one to relax arms and shoulders by placing them off the edge of the junior bolster. While performing savasana, junior bolsters provide support below the knees.

Manduka Rectangular Bolsters(Lightweight):

This is one of the most preferred bolster pillows by yogis. It is well known for their high-class quality. It makes use of airCORE technology so that the bolsters does not flatten with repeated usage and also remains lightweight to be used with ease. It is made of eco-friendly fabrics and has a side strap to carry around easily.

Pranayama Pillows:

Yoga (1)As the name itself indicates, these pillows are best used for pranayama practice sessions. The pillow helps to open the chest width wise and perform the exercise quickly without much effort. The pranayama pillows can also be used for supporting knees on the underside during the forward bends.

These are some of the widely used yoga bolsters and the ideal ways to use them. Pick the one that suits your needs according to the type of poses you are often practising. The right bolster assures that the poses are done in the most effective and efficient manner. It also ensures that your body relaxes and will be at ease. Take a break and rest your souls and bodies with the help of a yoga bolster!

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Benefits Of Yoga Props That Will Change Your Perspective

Benefits Of Yoga Props That Will Change Your Perspective

yoga-straps-yoga-props (1)You are back after your yoga workout, and you sense a slight stiffness in your muscles. If you are no stranger to injuries, you might as well ignore this. On the other hand, if you have just started your yoga workout as a beginner, you ought to read on. It could save you a whole lot of trouble!

Yoga props are essential for those who wish to actively indulge in yoga. Here are the 10 reasons why yoga props are beneficial and are essential for those who are planning on living a yoga lifestyle. For the ease of our readers, we have listed the advantages according to the different types of yoga props that are currently popular amongst yoga practitioners.

Cushion With a cushion, you appear taller which lends a natural bend to your spine. If you have stiff muscles, bending forward might seem a strained exercise. This causes extra tension on your stomach muscles. When you use a cushion, your orientation changes so you can complete the asana with ease.

Blocks Like its counterpart cushions, blocks increase your height so you can complete your poses effectively. Place a block or two during your Vajrasana pose. This way your feet is more relaxed. Alternatively, when you bend forward, place these blocks under your feet for greater support.

Bolsters blanketin-use2 (1)With a yoga bolster, you can relax your body in all your asanas. Take the challenging Saddle Pose which requires you to completely bend your lower back on the floor. If you are new to Yin Yoga, and cannot bend flexibly, the blocks provide good support for your spine. For other poses, such as the Half-Butterfly Pose, you can take help from a yoga bolster and relax your upper body.

Straps These useful props help prevent sudden movements or jerks. For the Dragon Pose, place the straps between the hip and thigh to relieve pain and stiffness. Another beneficial use of a strap is to provide greater reach. Most of the Hath Yoga sessions make use of yoga straps for seated poses and supine bends.

Blankets yogibelt_indianflower_detail01 (1)The warmth of a blanket is enough to take to the wonderland. Blankets are used in Shavasana to keep our body warm. Apart from this, roll them to form a cushion or a bolster that provide support. Hath Yoga recommends the use of a blanket for several reasons. A Plough Pose or a Shoulder Stand Pose that includes inversions makes intensive use of blankets. Your head and shoulders rest on the floor without causing any sort of neck injuries and strains.

Belts Use the D-ring belt since it provides the best locking system. It helps create traction and encourages flexibility.

Foam Blocks Stop thinking that yoga props are meant for beginners alone. When your yoga teacher is presenting an asana, it can be scary to try out something new. With a yoga foam block, you can reach the ground or balance yourself with ease,

Socks Who would have thought the humble socks would be a beneficial yoga prop? The toe socks help you spread out your legs with ease. They come in the form of mittens and can be worn on your hands too.

Yoga is not about finding the right balance. With help from these yoga props, you can ease your yoga postures and workout with the right balance.

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The Benefits Of Using Yoga Bolsters For Restorative Yoga

The Benefits Of Using Yoga Bolsters For Restorative Yoga


Yoga props have become quite essential for those who wish to regularly perform this ancient practise. For all yoga beginners, here’s a tip or two on yoga bolsters. These essential restorative yoga props come in two standard shapes. Round bolsters appear like a log of wood, while rectangular bolsters have flattened ends. The type of bolster you use depends upon the yoga asana you intend to perform.


Yoga bolsters are better than the average sofa. Sit in a Butterfly Pose and support your legs with these bolsters. When you are trying an arm balance, place the yoga bolsters on the floor so you have a soft landing in case of a fall.

Bolster Filling Bolsters are usually filled with cotton, polyester or wool. An inner filling, like kapok, foam or other organic materials, are stuffed inside. Kapok is generally preferred for its buoyancy and its light weight.

Whatever are the fillings inside, a regular yoga bolster will weigh a decent and practical 7 pounds and measures 27 inches long. If you find it difficult to carry it with you to the yoga studio, keep one in the studio handy for use.

The Need For Organic Bolsters These days everyone are on the lookout for organic yoga bolsters. In an attempt to avoid the potential dangers of synthetic materials, these natural yoga bolsters are here to stay. First it is crucial to decide if only cotton or kapok is good for your workout. If you are particular about going natural, you can find plenty of organic bolsters in the market.

Few bolsters are made of natural fibers. These products have an air core and weigh less.A Manduka bolster might be just what you are looking for. Note that most of the bolsters come with a removable cover. Any attempt to wash it might shrink the size and you are faced with a herculean task of fitting the bolster inside the tiny cover.


You can find a range of yoga bolsters that are free of phthalates and allergic materials. When you try the Legs Up The Wall Pose, place the yoga bolster beneath your back and ease your workout. Suffering from a back ache? Prop the yoga bolster against the wall and sit upright. This helps your shoulders to relax and stretch, opening the chest a little.

Get creative and use the bolster as a pillow. For sit ups, place them on the ground over your feet for extra support and grip.

If you are planning to go organic, it will cost a bit more. However, you can reduce your risk of inhaling harmful toxins and prevent allergy-induced reactions on your skin. Based on the type of yoga you intend to perform and your budget constraint, you can browse online and find the best organic bolster.

Choose a lighter bolster and cover it with an outer case. Whatever you choose, ensure that you take complete advantage of your bolster. This nifty yoga prop is sure to aid you in your practise sessions!

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