I am a big fan of using props such as blocks and straps in my practice and in the classes I teach. Oftentimes when I suggest a prop for a pose to a class, I notice a reluctance to reach for it, or at least to be the first person to do so. When I first started practicing I was much younger, and I thought that using the props meant that I didn’t know what I was doing or that I wasn’t strong enough or flexible enough on my own. Now, I know that it is more important to find the sukha or sweetness in a pose than to struggle to do it “right” all the time. Here is a prime example. In the first picture, I am holding a half moon pose with no props. It doesn’t feel awful, but my standing leg feels tight and my stomach is compressed, making my breathing not quite as deep. In the second variation, I am using a block, and as you can see I have much more room to breathe. My standing leg is more stable, and I am able to focus on lifting the inner arch of my foot. My chest is more open, because I am less focused on reaching down. The pose still feels challenging, but there is an added element of stability and comfort, a sweetness. As my favourite teacher always says, “less is more”.