Tips for Using What You Already Have as Yoga Props

Yoga props can help with your balance and alignment across all poses. However, they can be expensive. If you’re short on cash (or just want to use what you have at home), you can substitute certain yoga props for items that you already have laying around the house.

For yoga blocks, bolsters, and straps, you can find worthy alternatives from your household items. However, yoga mats are singularly irreplaceable when it comes to practicing yoga. Thankfully, yoga mats aren’t too expensive and can be found in most department stores.

Put together by a yoga teacher training studio in Portland, here’s a few alternatives for yoga blocks, bolsters, and straps.

Yoga Block Alternatives

Yoga blocks can help provide support in some poses. They are meant to be harder than a pillow or bolster, so you’ll need something solid for an alternative.

If you have a low table, it can be a great substitute for those lunging or crouching poses. If you don’t have any surface that is quite low enough to be useful, try several large hardcover books. You might have to bind them together with a belt to stop them from moving as you’re pressing down.

You can use books as a yoga block substitute for laying poses as well. If you need a block for stepping poses, you can use your bottom stair (if you have stairs in your home).

Yoga Strap Alternatives

A yoga strap is essential for some stretches and strength poses. Thankfully, it’s easy to substitute household items for a yoga strap. The best substitute is any belt with a buckle. Some poses require a buckle or closure to work properly.

However, the simplest of yoga strap poses can be performed with any long strip of cloth. You can use a scarf, a tie, a tube sock, or even a towel.

Yoga Bolster Alternatives

Bolsters are some of the most expensive props you’ll need for yoga. It’s also difficult to create the same type of support with your household items. However, pillows and couch cushions may prove useful. For pillows, you may need to wrap them up in a large blanket or towel to secure them in place.

Yoga Blanket Alternatives

A yoga blanket is usually used as a cushion for your mat, or it can be rolled up for support. Thankfully, any lightweight blanket will likely work in this capacity.

The only time when a yoga blanket might be essential is for specific folds during advanced poses. If you aren’t venturing into advanced poses, any lightweight blanket or towel will be fine.

Yoga Chair Alternatives

Yoga chairs are just backless folding chairs. If you don’t want to purchase a backless chair specifically for yoga, you can use one from home. You’ll have to use a sturdy chair, especially if you are using it in a support role. Plus, if you just need support during certain poses, any low table or another sturdy surface will work.

If you are bending over the chair, you can use any low stool. Just make sure that it’s heavier, won’t slide around, and can support your weight without a problem.

The key here is to find something that will hold your weight, won’t move as you’re using it, and has legs or other areas to hold while you bend.


Yoga props are made for a specific purpose. Nothing else works 100% of the time, but there are plenty of household items you can use as props. For instruction and tips, join a local yoga studio. Certified yoga instructors can help you take your yoga routine to the next level.

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