Why You Want Yoga Sandbags
Why do you want a bag of sand in your house?
In Yin and Restorative yoga, sandbags enable your muscles to relax and your energy to ground. Under the weight of a sandbag, you experience passivity in your body in a new way. Resistance melts. You are able to let go.
We think sandbags are the most underrated yoga prop!
Anyone doing yoga for therapeutic reasons (to heal an injury, relieve low back pain or just de-stress) will greatly benefit from adding sandbags to their practice.
Below are some ideas and guidance to get you started.
Sandbags weigh between 7 and 10 pounds and can be placed anywhere on the body to facilitate a greater sense of ease and relaxation.
If you're skeptical about how pinging your body under sacks of sand could be relaxing, head to a local Yin or Restorative yoga class to give these props a try.
An easy introduction to this prop is to simply place one sandbag on your pelvis in Savasana.
You'll find the weight of the sandbag anchors you down and enables you to absorb the benefits of your practice more fully.
Also try placing a sandbag on your sacrum in Child's Pose. Breathe deeply as it gently tractions your low back.
There are hundreds of ways to use this versatile yoga prop:
Sandbags on your hands in supine poses weigh down your fingers, which will likely otherwise curl inward from too much texting.
Sandbags on each shoulder create a delicious passive heart opener.
Sandbags on your thighs improves the external rotation of your legs and assists in keeping your sits-bones on the floor.
You'll usually hear sandbags referred to in the plural, because the reality is, you really want two.
Obviously, owning one sandbag is better than none. But some of juiciest ways to use sandbags involve two bags, each weighting the body in a different directions so your connective tissue can stretch and soften. Like this restorative twist with a sandbag on the thigh and shoulder.
Purchasing Your First Sandbag
You have two options when buying sandbags (and again, we opt for getting two instead of one).
(1) Unfilled canvas bags, like this Hugger Mugger Unfilled Yoga Sandbag.
(2) Filled canvas bags, like this Hugger Mugger Sandbag, which already contains 10 pounds of sand.
Unfilled sandbags are less expensive and give you the option of filling your sandbag with sand, rice, dried beans, and/or adding in your own herbs or essential oils.
Keep in mind that you need 7 – 10 pounds of whatever substance you choose to fill each sandbag (the rice in your cupboard right now is likely not enough). So this requires some preparation on your part.
If you're not so into DIY, purchase a filled sandbag that's ready to go right out of the box, like the filled sandbag by Hugger Mugger.
Remember you can always adjust the weight of your sandbags to your personal preference by adding or removing sand.
Once you incorporate sandbags into your home practice, you'll wonder how you ever survived without them.
You'll love the soothing effect sandbags add to poses as you succumb to gravity and let go of resistance.
This is a very special prop that heals your body on both the physical and energetic level.
About the Author
Brett Larkin teaches yoga and meditation on her YouTube channel, where thousands of students have studied with her for more than 10 million minutes. Find her "yoga hacks," yoga teacher training tips, and free yoga/meditation classes at BrettLarkin.com.