If you’ve been practicing yoga without using a yoga block until now, you’re missing out on achieving more physical support.
A yoga block, which is made out of bamboo, cork, or foam, can provide greater support to your hips, head, and back while ensuring you can better extend your body during yoga poses.
Are yoga blocks just for beginners? It’s a misconception to think that yoga blocks are only for beginners. They are a valuable yoga accessory to use for greater stability, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced yoga enthusiast.
If you want to buy a yoga block, you might wonder how to use it. Read on to find out everything you need to know about yoga blocks and why they’re such an essential yoga accessory.
Yoga Block Benefits
A yoga block has many benefits that can help you better achieve a variety of yoga poses in a safer, more comfortable, way. Here are some reasons why yoga blocks are so beneficial to own.
- Yoga blocks prevent hip pain. If you’re in a yoga pose that requires you to be in a seated position with your knees above your hip line, sitting on a yoga block can help you to feel more comfortable.
- Yoga blocks enhance your balance. If you have to maintain balance during a difficult or advanced yoga pose, using a yoga block gives you greater stability so that you can stretch without slipping or feeling frustrated by your body’s limitations.
- Yoga blocks boost your confidence. Learning yoga can be overwhelming as you have to learn a variety of poses, and some can be complex. But even if you’re not a beginner, some advanced yoga poses can be scary to achieve. Using yoga blocks can help you to feel more confident to try them.
- Yoga blocks help you relax. When doing some yoga poses, you might find that it’s difficult to release tension in your body, and this can make it trickier to relax. If you feel pain during some poses, this can make it even more difficult. Therefore, yoga blocks can help you to reduce pain and relax into the pose, helping you to reap more of its benefits.
- Yoga blocks reduce the risk of injury. Here’s an example of how a yoga block can prevent you from getting an injury. If your hips are tight and you’re doing a Pigeon Pose, putting a yoga block underneath your hip will decrease the tension in your knee joints, which are put in a vulnerable position during this pose.
How To Use Yoga Blocks For 3 Yoga Poses
There are many different ways in which you can use your yoga blocks, and you ideally should have one for each hand for different yoga poses. Here are some examples of how to use them for different yoga poses.
Standing Forward Bend
In this pose, you have to stand and reach your arms forward to bend over. You want to avoid rounding your back when reaching for your toes, so you should place two yoga blocks under your hands.
This will give you support and it aligns as well as lengthens your spine.
- Start with the Raised Hands Pose (Urdhva Hastasana). Keep your arms reaching over your head.
- Move your arms down to the sides of your body so you enter a Forward Fold.
- Keep your fingertips in line with your toes, and press your palms against your mat. Here’s where you can make use of the yoga blocks. Put them under your hands so that you can better reach the floor.
- Bend your knees to prevent them from locking.
- Engage your quadriceps and pull them upwards.
- Bring your weight onto the balls of your feet – you want your hips to remain over your ankles.
- Inhale and put your hands on your hips.
- Press down your tailbone while you contract your abdominal muscles. Then, while you’re in this pose, slowly rise up.
Downward Facing Dog
When doing this yoga pose, putting a yoga block underneath each hand helps you to take the pressure off your wrists. This makes it easier for you to lengthen your spine.
Here’s how to do the Downward Facing Dog with your yoga blocks.
- Place two yoga blocks on your yoga mat. Keep them about shoulder-width apart so that your hands can reach them.
- Rest your hands on the blocks, and raise your pelvis to the ceiling.
- Try to create a straight line from your hands to your sit bones.
Place your yoga block underneath your hand before attempting this pose. It will give you more stability, therefore enhancing your balance.
- Keep your feet open wide, then stretch your arms to the sides of your body so that they’re parallel to the floor.
- Turn the toes of your foot that’s closest to the front of your room about 90 degrees so they are directed to the front of your mat.
- Put your back hand on your hip, then move your front hand down your shin and onto the block. The yoga block will help you to prevent overstretching your joints and hamstrings (via wikiHow).
Are Yoga Blocks A Must-Have Accessory For Yoga?
As we’ve seen in this article, using yoga blocks can improve your yoga poses, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced yoga enthusiast. But does this mean you need to buy yoga blocks, or can you do without them?
You do really need yoga blocks! These are essential accessories to use during your yoga practice as they help you ensure you achieve the correct form and alignment during poses.
This is beneficial, whether you’re a beginner or have been doing yoga for a long time.
Yoga blocks provide you with the support you need so you not only better learn and become accustomed to certain yoga poses, but also so that you continue developing your strength and balance as you progress in your yoga journey.
They can also prevent strains and injuries. Think of yoga blocks as the most supportive shoes to wear when you go running. You wouldn’t do without them, so you shouldn’t do without yoga blocks, either!
How To Buy The Best Yoga Blocks
When purchasing yoga blocks, there are some important features to look for. These include the following:
- Choose the right material. You can find yoga blocks in materials such as cork and foam. Both of these have advantages.
- Foam. Yoga blocks made out of foam are affordable, soft, and lightweight. They’re ideal for carrying to and from your yoga studio. Foam yoga blocks are comfortable, so they’re especially useful during restorative yoga poses.
- Cork. Yoga blocks made out of cork are stronger and heavier, so they’re ideal for use if you’re doing balancing and stretching poses as they won’t feel like your hands or feet are sinking into them. They are a bit more expensive, but they’re worth it as they provide you with extra support.
- Choose the best yoga block size. The most common size for yoga blocks is 9x6x3 inches. These are the yoga blocks you’re likely to see in most yoga studios because they’re versatile for many practitioners.
However, you can also find wider blocks, which are useful if you are inflexible or require extra height when trying some poses. Finally, there are narrower yoga blocks.
These are great for you if you have small hands and find wider blocks difficult to grasp.
Can you use folded blankets instead of yoga blocks?
While you can use other items if you don’t have yoga blocks, such as cushions or folded blankets, these are not always practical. They also don’t provide as much support as stronger, harder yoga blocks.
Can you use one yoga block?
For some poses, such as those requiring that one hand rests on the floor, one yoga block is enough. However, it makes more sense to purchase two blocks as you’ll be able to use them for a wider range of yoga poses.
Purchasing a yoga block can help you to improve your yoga performance, such as by boosting your flexibility and developing your strength.
In this article, we’ve looked at what you need to know to incorporate yoga blocks into your yoga practice.