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History of Props – rods and poles

For me, prop is not only for the Asana.  It should contribute to the position of the body which in turn can let the mind be calm and state of ‘Chitta Vṛtti Nirodhaḥ‘ be experienced.  Body is my first prop.  The body is a prop to the soul. – B.K.S. Iyengar

For 2013, RIMYI published a calendar telling the story of props.  The first prop Mr. Iyengar ever used was a wooden rod…

In 1937, when I was in Pune, the then principal of Fergusson College came to me with some problems and sought relief.  He was around 85 years old and I was 19.  I wanted to make him do standing poses, but his age compounded with his problems, deterred him from even standing correctly.  It then occurred to me that I could make him do Trikonasana and Parshvakonasana lying down.  His legs however did not stay apart.  So, I kept a long wooden rod between his feet to stop his legs from coming closer.

That was my first creation of a prop – a wooden rod.



In addition to wooden poles, it is not unusual to see metal poles also used in our practices today, for example, in Prasarita Padottanasana, Salamba Sarvangasana or Salamba Sirsasana.



So, what do you use the poles for?  Send us a photo and tell us how using this prop improves your Asana and lets you get closer to ‘Citta Vṛtti Nirodhaḥ‘…


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