What yoga props mean to me – Jade Beckett from Pride Yoga

Jade from Pride Yoga reclines over yoga props

Welcome to a guest blog to the Yogipod blog by Jade from Pride Yoga

I absolutely love props – both practicing with them and teaching with them. For lots of practitioners they can make poses more comfortable, supportive, totally change the experience and add another layer of relaxation and release. But it wasn’t always this way for me. 

My personal yoga background is Hot yoga (Bikram derived). This is quite a regimented type of practice, with a set sequence of postures, quite specific, directive alignment and props aren’t really used in this type of practice. I mean, who wants to use a studio block that umpteen people have sweated all over in 40 degree plus heat? No, thanks! 

I wasn’t hugely exposed to props until I started broadening my practice horizons beyond hot into restorative and yin, flow and all sorts of other kinds of yoga where props are a bit more often used before I trained as a yoga teacher. 

The thing I find disappointing is the demonisation of props in some styles of yoga. The portrayal of you’re somehow less than if you need them, the perpetuation of “fullest expression” always being something without props or the throwaway “use a block if you need it” rather than the offering and demonstration of that option for everyone. 

I’m blessed with very short arms (and legs too) and I always found it really tough that in some classes aimed at experienced students jump throughs from plank, certain arm balances or inversions were taught and they just weren’t accessible to me after years of practice because of how my bones are put together – and I was basically told to round more, practice more or whatever else. 

It’s impossible to jump through from plank to seated if your hands don’t touch the floor and mine never will. I know that now after years of teaching; but at the time it used to really get my goat and I didn’t understand what was going on and to be honest, it made me feel rubbish. 

No amount of practice can change how you’re built – but a bunch of props can certainly help give a little extra arm length, support you or alter your experience and increase comfort in any asana practice. Yoga is about finding ways to do things that work for you and feel great. 

All of a sudden when I started incorporating blocks into my practice, I could play with some of these poses in a much easier way and find my own way, move intuitively and find a heap of enjoyment trying things, falling and being in the moment in my practice. Not to mention finding a comfier seat at the start of a class too by popping my bum on a meditation cushion. 

When I qualified as a yoga teacher it was always at the forefront of my mind to not let anyone else experience some of the things I did and be able to find their own way to do things. For newer students they can be a bit overwhelming because there’s so many and you need to be shown properly different ways to use the myriad of wonderful props out there in the world.  

So, every class I teach has a wonderful range of props – blocks, bricks, therabands, eye pillows, blankets are regular features. 

I also really enjoy teaching novel ways to use props. I love to show, include and demonstrate with them to level the experience for everyone in the class. It builds confidence and enhances experiences for everyone involved. 

I’d say my favourite is a toss up between a brick, bolster and blanket – for my own practice and for teaching with. 

Nowadays my own personal practice is a lot of yin or restorative yoga, mainly because I’m shattered at the end of a busy week filming and teaching! There’s nothing nicer than getting to the end of a restorative practice resting on a bolster with a blanket… and one of the cats comes and curls up on your chest and relaxes with you. 

That contentment, connection and peace is only enhanced by props. And that is why I love them.

Jade from Pride yoga sits in hero pose across a bolster

Jade is a Yoga Educator and Yoga Business Coach through her business Pride Yoga. She runs in person classes in Oxfordshire as well as having an online membership. You can find out more about her here:



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