As a restorative, compassionate flow and slow hold sort of instructor I rely heavily on props in my own practice. There are limitations that my body has that need the assistance of props in order to find a stillness and an opening. I used to believe that props meant that I was not a true yogi. I now embrace them and sometimes use them to focus my awareness, which in turn focuses my practice.
I came to yoga out of a need to slow down and learn to love myself. I remember the first yoga I ever did - it was a chair yoga video on VHS for people suffering chronic pain. I loved it. I did it regularly. Sometimes even rewinding the tape to do it twice in a row. My mind was hungry for the calm that moving my body in slow deliberate ways linked with breath was providing. But even then, loving the video, I criticized myself greatly for getting sweaty sitting in a chair doing yoga, for getting hot faced and flushed. What I wasn't aware of then, and what I love now, is that a class doesn't need to be fast flowing or full of fancy poses to create heat and warmth in the body. I have learned of the energetic nature of the poses and the ways that yoga can be challenging, even if it doesn't make your muscles shake.
It has been a long road to become comfortable propping my sit bones up because my pelvis is tilted due to tight quads. To using a block because sometimes my belly is too big for my arms to reach the ground. To use props even when I could "do" the pose the "right" way, because it feels really nice and comforting to not be at my edge all the time. The more I prop, the more strength I build because I don't create a stress response in my body which results in more holding.
The path of yoga still holds so many lessons for me. Luckily props are there to help me through.