Sand grounds me, it calms me, it makes me feel secure and safe. A sandbag on my chest slows a racing heart and helps me quiet my mind. A sandbag across my lower belly makes me feel more connected to the earth beneath me. The same sandbag on a hip during a spinal twist, or draped across my lower back during child’s pose allows me to gently deepen the pose due to the slight added weight and pressure.
Sandbags contain playground clean sand, and that sand is placed within a black vinyl bag to keep it contained and to allow it to spread out. The sandbags are filled with a funnel until 3/4 or so full so that the sand has space to move and drape across your body. The interior sandbag is then placed within a washable cotton cover that usually has a handle to allow for easier movement.
I encourage you to give a sandbag a try. As mentioned, common placements for the sandbag include across the lower belly during any positions that find you on your back. An alternative is on the chest. For any long hold poses the sandbag can be placed on hips or even shoulders to encourage your body to stay connected with the ground and to encourage deeper stretching and opening during the pose.
Eye pillows also offer slight weight but more so allow darkness by blocking light from your eyelids. My eye pillows contain flaxseed from Bulk Barn, and the seed is sewn directly into a cotton pocket. Natural essential oils can be added to the flaxseed which will release a slight aroma over time. I used clove essential oils in the last ones that I made for a natural and forest-like smell. Eye pillows are frequently used during restorative yoga or as an added treat during shavasana or any poses that find you on your back for extended amounts of time during your yoga practice. Eye pillow cases can also be purchased or made that can be washed for longer lasting pillows. Silk liners also exist for a luxurious feel across your eyes.