Do you know that in some styles of yoga, various implements are used to achieve/support/enhance the more difficult asana's (postures)? Yes, particularly in Iyengar style of Hatha yoga, they get into all kinds of crazy poses by means of stuff such as: blocks, wedges, straps, cords, chairs, metal plates, and so on.
I'm ashamed to admit that I once wrote a poem gently mocking this practice, for full disclosure here it is:
Yoga Prop Chant
(c) 2007 by Tabby Cat
Block, Strap, Pad, and Wedge
Give us that Iyengar edge.
Strap, Pad, Wedge, and Block
Now we're steady as a rock.
Pad, Wedge, Block and Strap
Using these, it's Insta-Wrap!
Wedge, Strap, Block, and Pad
You don't use them? You're just sad!
I wrote the poem because traditionally Ashtangi's (practitioners of Ashtanga yoga style) are generally too macho (self perceived) to be caught dead with all that hardware. We're just like, have mat will bind!
Iyengar people on the other hand love stuff, the more the merrier. Here's a typical Iyengnar yoga session:
You get the idea. Meanwhile, even though Iyengar was one of the main guys to introduce yoga to the world, another clever guy, Bikram, stole a march on him wih the Hot Yoga gimmick. Idea being that the room temperature is heated up for the practice session, supposedly to mimic Indian conditions (though reseearchers have determined that Bikram actually got the idea from his use of Japanese natural hot springs as therapy for his weight-lifting induced injuries). Be that as it may, the temp of Hot Yoga studios has crept over over the years from 80 F then 85 etc, til now some studios have it set to 110 F. Plus added artificial lhumidity.
Anyway, forget everything I've ever said or written about props being bad, cause I've just had a brilliant marketing inspiration that will UNIFY these two great currents of yogic thought (Iyengar equipment plus Bikram heat). Like all products of sheer genius, its conceptually simple: don't heat the air, heat the props!
Genius! (me)... I'm gonna start up a worldwide yoga chain brand built on this. The room temp will be normal but all the props will be made of metal and heated to desired intensity (yellow, red, white) depending on the particular pose being worked. The franchise name will be:
(Why the 'x' in there? Oh that's just a marketing thing... gotta have an 'x' somewhere if you're gonna make it really big). Pronounced: 'hot prop sex yoga'.
Since Iyengar and Bikram provided some of the raw inspiration for this breakthrough, I'm considering going in with them on some co-branding and joint program development. But what it means to your future is that you gotta hurry to contact me with your name, address, bank address, account number, current account balance, and PIN number - before you lose out. I'm going to implement a very principled franchising scheme and you don't' want to miss this chance to get in on the ground floor and become the franchisee for HOTPROPX YOGA in your town.
(Those who attack my patent/copyright claims on this innovation, citing the electric blanket as some kind of disqualifying 'prior art' will be handled by my intellectual property attorneys).