Folding Is An Art
Posted by terrepruitt on June 6, 2015
Many of you who attend yoga classes regularly might already know this, but then again, maybe not. Sometimes there is not always time in any type of group exercise class to get the tips and tricks that are widely known. As with me, I just recently learned this tip/trick. And, I actually haven’t even had the chance to use is since I learned it. This might not always be necessary even if you are using the same type of prop in a yoga class. There are different uses and needs, so you might not always need this trick. Recently I was in a yoga class and we were instructed to lie down on a specific configuration of blankets and blocks for pranayama. The blanket was folded length-wise into thirds and we were to lie on it length-wise, with it running from the bottom of our neck to tail. The idea is to allow the torso and chest to open. We were to lie there and breathe. As you may know, pranayama entails deep breathing and/or breathing specifically. I think the pranayama we were supposed to be doing was three-part breath (Dirgha). Where one is breathing into the belly, the rib cage, then the upper chest. Then the exhale goes from upper chest, ribs, then belly. Something I am just learning and that is not easy for me. So, like I said before, breathing specifically. Well, I could not concentrate because I was so uncomfortable. I couldn’t even take a full breath much less take it in from bottom to top and then breathe it out in the opposite fashion. The blanket was bulky on the sides and it was keeping me from breathing with ease. I couldn’t relax and let my chest open. I ended up having to discard the blanket and just lie on the floor.
After that portion of the class another teacher came in and explained how to fold a blanket to allow for maximum comfort. It is easy and made complete sense. Instead of folding it in halves or thirds like you would a blanket you are going to put in the closet, fold it like an accordion so that it is even. There are no sides that are thicker. When it is folded like an accordion it lies more evenly. This is a much easier, more comfortable support to lie on. When she demonstrated it, it looked perfect and comfortable. I wanted to use it to see if it felt as comfortable as it looked, but it was not the time to do so. And, as I mentioned, I have not yet had the opportunity to try folding a yoga blanket like that and using it.
I know, folding a blanket is an easy thing to do, but, as you may know, yoga blankets are very thick and sometimes they can be very bulky and bulgy when folded wrong. The blankets and other props are there to be used to make poses more comfortable and give proper alignment. Having it bulge and press on your body is not comfortable.
Do you use yoga blankets in your practice? Might you see how this type of folding technique could create a comfortable platform to lie on?