Yoga is a powerful practice that offers numerous physical and wellness benefits.
However, whether you’re a novice or a seasoned practitioner, there are moments when you may need extra support or stability to achieve a pose correctly and safely.
This is where yoga blocks come into play.
Yoga blocks, often underappreciated tools, can be a transformative addition to your practice, helping you deepen stretches, achieve proper alignment, and avoid injuries.
These versatile props can also help you push your boundaries, allowing you to explore advanced postures more confidently.
In this comprehensive guide, we explore the manifold benefits of using yoga blocks and demonstrate how they can enhance your yoga practice.
Introduction to Yoga Blocks
Often seen in yoga studios, yoga blocks are firm, rectangular props designed to support, stabilise, and align your body in various yoga poses.
They come in different materials such as foam, cork, bamboo, recycled materials and wood, with the most common size being 4” x 6” x 9”, though smaller and larger blocks are also available depending on your preference.
The yoga block is not a sign of weakness or limitation.
Instead, it is a useful tool that can help you connect with your body more deeply and understand your unique needs in each pose.
Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced yogi, a yoga block can be a valuable addition to your yoga arsenal.
Yoga Blocks: Bringing the Ground Closer
In certain poses, you might find it challenging to reach the floor while maintaining good alignment.
This is where a yoga block can be extremely helpful.
It can act as an extension of your arms, effectively bringing the ground closer to you so you can experience the full benefits of the pose without straining your body.
For instance, in a forward-fold, you might struggle to keep your back flat if your hamstrings are tight, causing your spine to curve.
By placing a block under your hands, you can maintain a straight back while getting a full stretch in your hamstrings.
Similarly, in Triangle Pose, your lower hand should rest on the floor while the other hand stretches upwards.
If you’re struggling to reach the yoga mat, a yoga block can be used to support your bottom hand, preventing your body from leaning forward and helping you maintain proper alignment.
Yoga Blocks: A Tool for Releasing Tension
Yoga should never cause pain or discomfort.
If you find a posture too intense, yoga blocks can be used to modify the pose, making it more accessible and comfortable.
For example, Hero Pose can be modified by placing a block underneath your seat, reducing the intensity of the stretch and allowing you to hold the pose longer.
Similarly, Easy Pose, despite its name, can be challenging for those with tight hips.
By positioning a block under your seat bones, you can elevate your hips, creating more space and making the posture more comfortable.
Deepening Your Poses with Yoga Blocks
Yoga blocks can also help you go deeper into your poses.
In restorative practices, for instance, blocks are often used to encourage your body to fully surrender to the poses.
In Fish Pose, a block placed under your back can support a deeper backbend, allowing for a greater opening in the chest and shoulders.
Similarly, in Bridge Pose, a block placed under your pelvis can help open the chest and create a deeper, more restorative experience.
Using Yoga Blocks for Injury Prevention
Yoga blocks can play a crucial role in preventing injuries.
They reduce pressure on your muscles and joints, helping you avoid stress injuries.
By using blocks to modify difficult postures, you’re less likely to force your body into a pose that isn’t accessible, reducing the risk of injury.
For example, in Pigeon Pose, tight hips can put your front knee in a vulnerable position.
Placing a block under your hip can reduce the pressure on your knee joint, preventing potential injuries.
Building Confidence with Yoga Blocks
As you progress on your yoga journey, finding the confidence to try more advanced poses can be challenging.
Yoga blocks can provide the necessary support, giving you the confidence to take your practice to the next level.
In complex poses like Crow Pose, which requires balancing your whole body weight using just your upper body, a block can provide a safety net, allowing you to get comfortable balancing your weight without fear of falling over.
The Eco-Friendly Choice
They are made from sustainably sourced cork and are 100% eco-friendly.
Despite their lightweight feel, cork yoga blocks are notably firm, offering more stability than foam alternatives.
Beyond the Basics
Yoga blocks aren’t just for basic poses.
They can also be used in more advanced postures, acting as a tool for strength building and balance. For example, you can use yoga blocks to practice your headstands.
The blocks can be placed to support your upper back as you come into your headstand, providing additional stability.
Yoga Blocks for Relaxation
Blocks aren’t just for active poses; they can also be used in restorative yoga to enable your body to truly relax.
For instance, in supported Fish Pose, a block under your back allows your heart and shoulders to open soothingly.
In the supported Bridge Pose, a block under the pelvis lets you surrender sweetly into the pose.
Blocks also serve as a stepping stone for moving into advanced postures.
They provide that stand-and-walk before you run, preventing you from stressing your body or causing injuries by trying to go straight from a “crawling” posture to a “running” one.
Whether you’re new to yoga or an experienced practitioner, incorporating yoga blocks into your practice can bring about a significant difference.
They can help enhance alignment, deepen stretches, provide support, and promote overall safety.
Remember, yoga blocks aren’t a sign of weakness or inability; they are tools designed to enrich your yoga journey.
So next time you step onto your mat, grab a yoga block and explore the many ways it can enhance your practice.