Does your yoga session go beyond mats, blankets, and straps? Are you supposed to arrive at the studio armed with blocks but reluctant to do so since you’re unaware of their purpose and usage?
Don’t let this unawareness ruin your chances of attaining unmatched stability, strength, and flexibility, as this article will explain everything there is to know about yoga blocks.
Yoga blocks have been around for decades and were specifically created to make yoga even better. But the thing is, they tend to get avoided like the plague.
However, what these practitioners don’t know is that yoga blocks provide advanced variations. They can bring the floor to you, help release tight hips, relax you into poses, and maintain proper alignment of your shoulders and arms.
Unfortunately, yoga studios don’t give you the 101 on how to use yoga blocks. Fortunately, we have that covered. Below is a montage of all the tips and tricks you need to know on using yoga blocks to increase flexibility and purpose.
How to Use Yoga Blocks: Tips & Poses to Consider
Yoga blocks have been part of yoga practice for decades, designed to enhance various aspects of your poses. Unfortunately, many practitioners are unfamiliar with their potential benefits. These blocks can bring the floor closer to you, assist in releasing tightness in hips, facilitate relaxation in poses, and maintain proper alignment of your shoulders and arms. While yoga studios may not always provide guidance on using yoga blocks, this article aims to fill that gap by offering valuable tips and techniques for incorporating yoga blocks into your practice.
Purpose of Yoga Blocks:
- Yoga blocks enhance your ability to perform poses effectively.
- They provide support and stability, allowing you to extend your arms and assist with back, hip, and head positioning.
- Proper use of yoga blocks can establish correct alignment during poses.
- They aid in supporting a wider range of motion, shortening the distance between the floor and you.
- Yoga blocks help bring awareness to muscle engagement, ensuring you perform poses correctly.
- These props make yoga more accessible for beginners and individuals with physical limitations or injuries.
- Using quality yoga mats alongside yoga blocks is essential for maintaining balance and protecting your joints and body.
By understanding the purpose of yoga blocks and how to use them effectively, you can significantly enhance your yoga practice and reap the benefits of improved flexibility, strength, and alignment.
Also Read : Benefits of Ashtanga Yoga
What is the Most Suitable Yoga Block for Beginners?
For beginners, lightweight, high-density cork, or foam yoga blocks are ideal choices as they provide excellent support and stability. Among the specific options available, the Gaiam Essentials Latex-Free yoga block stands out as a sturdy and affordable choice, well-suited for those starting their yoga journey.
Are Yoga Blocks Even Worth It?
Absolutely! Considering the affordable price range of most yoga blocks, there’s no reason not to have one or two as part of your yoga practice. Yoga blocks add significant value to your entire yoga session, helping you perfect your technique while maintaining mindfulness of your breath and thoughts. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced yogi, investing in yoga blocks is certainly worthwhile.
Uses of Yoga Blocks
Yoga blocks serve versatile purposes in enhancing your yoga practice, primarily focusing on strengthening, support, and lengthening. To maximize their benefits, it’s crucial to select the right type and size of yoga block, with the standard size being 4 inches, although sizes vary depending on the material. Foam blocks offer comfort but are less stable, while cork blocks are ideal for weight-bearing positions.
Here are some yoga poses that demonstrate the effective use of yoga blocks, with the potential for these blocks to be incorporated into various other poses:
1. Downward Facing Dog:
The downward-facing dog is a demanding pose that offers numerous benefits but requires upper-body strength and the ability to hang the head below the heart. Here’s how to incorporate yoga blocks into the downward-facing dog:
- Wrist Relief: To alleviate wrist pressure, bend your weight back toward your heels with the yoga blocks beneath your palms.
- Enhanced Posture: If you wish to deepen the posture, position the blocks against a wall and elevate your feet using the blocks.
2. Child’s Pose:
The child’s pose is a restorative posture that provides a significant amount of relaxation to the body. While it may seem challenging due to the head’s weight and position, yoga blocks can be helpful:
- Forehead Support: Place a block underneath your forehead to gently massage your brow bone.
- Tailbone Elevation: Position another yoga block under your tailbone for added support and comfort.
To further enhance the posture, consider these variations:
- Place your elbows or forearms on two blocks for a chest and arm stretch.
- Put the blocks beneath your feet to deepen the stretch and relaxation in the child’s pose.
3. Reclining Bound Angle Pose:
In the reclining bound angle pose, it’s essential to take your time to explore the sensations and breathing patterns of the posture. Here’s how you can use yoga blocks for this position:
- Place blocks below each knee, experimenting with different heights.
- Add an extra block under your head for added comfort.
To enhance the posture further:
- Position a block between your shoulder blades to transform this pose into a heart opener.
- Place another block beneath your pelvis, selecting the appropriate height for added support.
4. Camel Pose:
The camel pose can become more accessible with the use of yoga blocks. Blocks provide ease and help open your heart. Here’s how to incorporate yoga blocks into this pose:
- Position two blocks at an appropriate height beside each ankle. Release your hands onto the blocks as you get into the camel position. Avoid putting excessive weight on the blocks; think of maintaining a buoyant and light posture.
- Place a block under each foot.
For advanced variations:
- Position a block between your thighs and squeeze inward.
- Explore a floating camel by raising your knees off the ground while squeezing the block.
- For an advanced floating camel, place one block between your thighs and one under each knee.
Lunges are an excellent pose for increasing hip flexibility, and the use of yoga blocks can provide the necessary support and comfort for a deeper stretch. Here’s how to use yoga blocks in lunges:
- Start with your right foot forward and ground it between your palms.
- Place a yoga block under each of your palms. This allows you to lengthen your spine and maintain proper alignment during the pose.
These yoga block techniques can be applied to various other poses, offering valuable assistance and enhancing your yoga experience.
What Are Yoga Blocks Good For?
Yoga blocks are incredibly versatile and can enhance your practice in various ways. Here are some of the benefits and uses of yoga blocks:
- Handstands: Yoga blocks can be used to assist in handstand practice, providing support and stability during the pose.
- Back Stretching: Blocks can help extend and stretch your spine, promoting flexibility and relieving tension in your back.
- Chest Opener Pose: Using blocks in chest opener poses can help improve posture, open up the chest, and increase lung capacity.
- Hamstring Tension Release: Blocks can aid in hamstring stretches, allowing you to reach further and release tension in your legs.
- Neck Support: During certain poses, blocks can provide comfortable support for your neck, reducing strain and discomfort.
- Maintaining Balance: For balancing poses, yoga blocks can be placed under your hands or feet to help you find stability and prevent falls.
- Sun Salutations: Yoga blocks can be used to modify sun salutation sequences, making them more accessible for beginners or those with limited flexibility.
Incorporating yoga blocks into your practice allows you to receive the optimal support needed to perform each exercise or pose correctly and safely.
Yoga blocks open up opportunities for internal control during your practice. Whether you practice yoga in a group or on your own, investing in a quality set of yoga blocks is worthwhile. They serve as powerful tools to explore and expand your yoga practice, regardless of whether you believe you “need” them or not. With the knowledge of essential yoga block techniques, be sure to choose the right blocks and use them effectively to enhance your practice.
Medical Disclaimer: The content provided on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
How many yoga blocks do I need?
An average yoga practitioner needs two yoga blocks. Moreover, it is best to buy different-sized blocks based on your physical needs.
What’s the best way to clean yoga blocks?
Like the way you take care of your yoga mat, yoga blocks demand some maintenance. A scrub-free wash under lukewarm water with a dash of soap will ensure your blocks stay brand new and fresh for as long as possible.
When it comes to cork yoga blocks, they shouldn’t get cleaned in this manner. A quick wipe with a tissue will do just fine.
Having completed my Bachelor’s degree in medicine and currently pursuing a house job at a well reputed hospital in California, I decided to utilize my spare time in sharing knowledge with others through my blog. Apart from my time spent in the medical field, I love to read fiction novels and go on long drives.