I have been wondering how to facilitate a nourishing home-practice for students during the coronavirus lockdown without the need to invest in expensive props. Being able to change the shape of the floor or the length of your arms using props makes poses more accessible and comfortable. With many of you now building a home practice, and restrictions on sharing props at the studio, it is time to examine how these tools are most effectively used to enhance your mindful and movement practices.
One of the benefits of going to classes at your local studio is that you get to use a wide variety of props. These can include the basics, such as blocks, blankets, and belts, as well as bolsters, chairs, weighted pillows, therapy balls, buckwheat cushions, and eye masks. When lockdown forced me to begin teaching online, I was suddenly left without these teaching aids. They were locked up in the studio, and I was sitting infront of a Zoom camera.
I recently came across an idea that I had heard before, but had ignored in favour of my cosy bolsters and significant home storage space. That is, that 3 blankets can provide you with all of the support you need during a basic dynamic or restorative practice. The functionality of this simple idea wowed me in a Covid-19 world.
My goal here is to simplify everyday mindful movement practices so that the use of 3 blankets as a versatile tool becomes a seamless, practical, and nourishing element for you, wherever and whenever you do your practice.
What makes an ideal blanket for my practice?
This is an important question. Your favourite fluffy blanket won't do. A useful blanket will provide support for your body, without simply collapsing under your weight. The best blanket has a tight weave. To test your blanket, fold it up and press on the edge. It should resist and hold its shape.
The second consideration is size. Your 3 blankets should be the same size and big enough to cover your whole body when lying on the floor. If you cannot get your hands on blankets, towels will suffice – the bigger the better.
Enough theory, lets get practicing!
Here is a simple 3-blanket restorative sequence which will move your spine in 3 directions - flexion, extension, and lateral bend - followed by a neutral resting position. Each pose is held for 3 minutes. The entire practice can be done in as little as 15 minutes, or individual poses taken for a quick 3 minute rejuvenation.
Download a printable PDF of the practice here:
All of my online classes will now use this principle of 3 blankets. Learn more about practicing online with me here.
Wishing you good practicing!