Four Ways to Use Sandbags in Yoga
Sandbags are powerful. They can help you find grounding and opening in your body where you may not have thought it possible. Take your time moving into poses, listen closely to your body and trust your instincts. Sandbags may be just what you need to cultivate the sthira and sukha (stability and ease) you are looking for in your practice.
1. Here Clara is using two 10lb Sandbags to bring gentle weight to supta virasana (reclined hero's pose). In this pose, sandbags can encourage the quadriceps and hip flexors to relax and stretch.
Important note: supta virasana is a therapeutic pose but can cause knee pain for some people. Go into this pose slowly, listen to your body and work with a qualified teacher.
2. Tight hips? Try using two sandbags in buddha konasana (butterfly pose) to allow the hips to gently open. Breathe deeply and stay tuned into the body. Take the sandbags off if the stretch becomes too intense.
3. The tendency in this pose is for the thigh to lift. Using a 15lb Sandbag, ground the leg to the floor. You may want to use a strap around the foot of the lifted leg to achieve a bigger stretch through your hamstrings.
Turn this pose into a hip opener: keep the sandbag where it is, then, holding a strap around the foot, extend the lifted leg out to the side. Let your sandbag do it's work to keep your leg and hip pressing into the floor.
4. Just when you thought child's pose couldn't get any better—try using a sandbag. A sandbag will create length for your low back while giving you a juicy stretch in your hips. You'll want to stay in this pose for while.