This is part two of a blog series on yoga props for beginners. The purpose of this series is not to imply that only beginner yoga students “need” yoga props but rather to answer some basic questions about yoga props to help new yoga students get the most out of their practice.
What is a yoga blanket?
A yoga blanket is a large piece of cloth or fabric used as an aid or prop in a yoga class. While there are some excellent at-home replacements for a yoga blanket, a traditional yoga blanket is different than your average throw purchased at a department store. Yoga blankets are made to retain their shape and remain malleable enough to be folded, rolled, or pleated depending on how you want to use them.
Why should I use a yoga blanket?
A yoga blanket can be used to add extra height, cushion, support, or warmth during various types of yoga classes. Utilizing a yoga blanket can make your practice more enjoyable, easeful and even enhance some of the benefits of a particular movement or posture that might not be available to you without the blanket.
Can you provide some specific examples of how or when I might use a yoga blanket?
One common use of a yoga blanket is to sit on the edge of a folded blanket during seated postures and movements to elevate the hips and help the pelvis tilt forward to ease potential discomfort in the lower back. When on hands and knees, a yoga blanket under the knees provides a helpful cushion. Placing a rolled blanket behind the knees in child’s pose can provide additional comfort for students who have trouble finding comfort or ease in the pose. My favorite way to use a yoga blanket is to cover my entire body in savasana or corpse pose. The weight and the warmth provide just the right stimulus for me to experience the profound benefits of the pose.
Your yoga teacher will provide several options for you to use your yoga blanket during class, but you do not need to wait for the invitation from your teacher to add it to your practice. Trust your intuition about when it would be helpful to use your blanket, especially when using it to add height, support, or cushion.
What kind of yoga blanket should I use?
You will see yoga blankets made from cotton, wool, or a blend. Many yoga studios use Mexican yoga blankets because they provide the needed support and are marching washable.
How many yoga blankets do I need?
Do not let access to a yoga blanket prevent you from starting your yoga practice. You can have an enjoyable and meaningful practice without any props at all. However, if a yoga blanket is of interest to you, one or two yoga blankets will provide the support you need. You may wish to start with one blanket and assess your need for a second.