Watch the video on how to use yoga blocks with five different poses, and read below to see in-depth how they can enhance your practice!
Yoga blocks are props you’ll find as a staple in many yoga studios. The problem is, they tend to be avoided like the plague. Why? Some may see a yoga block and immediately think: if I use a yoga block during class, it means I’m bad at yoga and not flexible enough. This is absolutely NOT the case! Yoga blocks are meant to be a natural extension of your practice by bringing the ground closer to you so you can reach further and open up in specific poses. In fact, using yoga blocks with some poses actually give them a more advanced variation. Take a look at tips and tricks below for using blocks, and certain poses that, when using them, enhance your practice fundamentally.
Use for Improved Alignment
Humans are interesting creatures. Have you noticed that in some poses, you may be extremely flexible, while others might feel a little tight? For me, that’s pigeon pose, a hip opener which is an intense stretch to begin with. To help align yourself in pigeon, place a block under the hip of the leg that’s extended behind you. This will help square your hips and give you more mobility. You could also place another block under your forehead to lean forward for sleeping pigeon.
Use for Stability & Balance
Blocks can offer excellent assistance when it comes to balancing poses. When coming into half moon, place it beneath your hand closest to the mat at whatever level feels best, and gradually lift away from it while you build your confidence in balancing. Also, when preparing for crow, you have the option of placing it under your feet to give you added leverage for ‘flying your crow’ off the ground.
Use for Strengthening & Engaging Your Core
Who knew blocks can help supplement your yoga practice as an integral tool for a workout? Position yourself into waterfall pose and place the block between your knees or shins, hugging the block with your legs as much as your practice allows. Then, lower your legs so they hover an inch or two above the ground, and slowly raise your legs back up to the sky. See if you can do this for ten repetitions, and you’ll noticeably feel the burn!
Use for Advanced Pose Variations
If your practice needs a little extra, blocks can help with that too. In seated forward fold, place the block against the soles of your feet. This creates more space for flexing forward, since you’re reaching to grab the block rather than your feet or toes! Similarly, in easy pose or lotus pose, you can place a block on either side of your hips and ground down to life your body and levitate off your mat.
Use with 3 levels of difficulty
Blocks offer three levels that you can use based on your needs. Most have a 9” x 6” x 4” dimensions, meaning you can place them on various sides to give you your desired reach. Depending on the material, they also vary in weight. Foam tends to be the lightest, making it perfect for all levels of practice, though it may be best suited for those new to using blocks since their dense padding is soft to the touch. Cork and bamboo blocks tend to be on the heavier side, however they’re best suited for core enhancing and stabilizes poses and flows.
Now that you know some essential tips and tricks for using yoga blocks, make sure you have the right block! Get your own set and start noticing how they can enhance your practice. If you have any additional tips or advice on how to use your yoga blocks, comment below and tell us!