In addition to mats and blankets, props often include blocks, belts, chairs, ropes and many other items often be found in one’s home the wall, a corner, stools, kitchen counter, coffee tables, end tables.
A common misconception is that props make the work easier. The props are used to modify yoga postures to the needs of specific students and allow for a deeper penetration into the postures, as well as a longer stay and a more profound experience.
They can be used initially for those who may lack flexibility or physical ability. Props are also used to achieve the physical archetype of a particular pose so that the body is given the opportunity to realize its maximum potential. They serve to bring a heightened awareness and intelligence to a particular area of the outer or inner body.
The use of props in yoga — ubiquitous in yoga studios of all styles — were an invention of BKS Iyengar that revolutionized the art. Mr. Iyengar continues to refine and invent the use of props.