If you're just starting out with yoga, you may be wondering what all of the different props are for. Yoga blocks, in particular, can be a little confusing if you're not sure what they're used for.
In this article, we'll discuss what yoga blocks are used for and how they can help your practice. We'll also give you some tips on how to use them correctly. Read on to learn more!
How to Use a Yoga Block
A yoga block is used as a support to either make a pose more difficult or easier to perform. For certain poses a yoga block is used to aid in alignment and to ensure the pose is performed safely and correctly.
When using a yoga block, you can place it under your hand, foot, behind your back, or wherever it is needed to bring the floor closer to you for balance while standing or support you in seated or reclined poses. This will depend on what pose you're performing and what the purpose of the block is.
For example, if you're having trouble reaching your hands to the ground in a forward bend, you can place a yoga block under your hands to support your upper torso and relieve the stress on your low back. This will provide stability and allow you to hold the pose longer.
As with all props, it's important to experiment with different blocks until you find the ones that work best for you. Not all blocks are created equal - some are thicker or softer than others. So, take your time and find the blocks that feel best for your practice.
Benefits of using a yoga block
A yoga block can help you deepen poses.
A yoga block can support your body and relieve stress on your joints.
A yoga block can help you maintain proper alignment in difficult poses.
A yoga block can increase your stability and balance.
A yoga block can help you achieve a deeper stretch.
A yoga block can be used to modify poses for beginners or those with injuries.
Yoga blocks are a great way to add intensity to your practice.
Yoga blocks are portable and affordable, making them a great option for yogis on the go
Types of yoga blocks - foam, cork, wood
Foam yoga blocks are the most common type of yoga block. They are lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to find. However, they are not as durable as other types of blocks and can break down over time. For the beginner, this is the best option.
Cork yoga blocks are heavier than foam blocks, but they are also more durable. Cork is a sustainable material, so it's a good choice for eco-conscious yogis.
Wood yoga blocks are the heaviest and most durable type of yoga block. They can be used in the same way as foam and cork blocks, but they may be more difficult to find. Wood blocks can also be more expensive than other types of blocks.
Best Yoga Block for Your Practice
The best yoga block for you will vary based on your needs. It's recommended to start with block due to its versatility and low cost. These are the types of blocks you will most often find in your local studio.
Over time you find that you prefer a cork or wood block depending on the type of pose. For example, those that exert more pressure on the block may prefer a cork or wood block to a foam block. Cork and wood blocks are more dense and have less 'give' than a foam block, thus providing better feelings of stability.
However, in some scenarios, a foam block is the clear winner. For example, in fish pose, some yogis prefer to place a block under the back of their head. A foam block may be preferred here because it is softer and has some cushion compared to a cork or wood block.
Yoga Block Dimensions
Yoga blocks vary slightly in dimensions. While one size is not necessarily better than another, different people may find a slightly larger or slightly smaller size block more beneficial for his or her practice. 9" x 6" x 3" (Length x Width x Height) is generally considered the standard yoga block size.
The height of the yoga block may go up or down an inch based on the brand and use. For example, some men may find a wider block, that of 9" x 6" x 4" better due to generally having bigger hands or feet.
Again, these are dependent upon your style of practice, the poses you're practicing, and your own individual body type. If you're buying a block for the first time, go with the standard size.
Yoga Block Shapes
The standard shape for a yoga block is that of a brick. Yoga blocks are of a rectangular shape, typically with slightly rounded corners and edges.
Other shapes and sizes are available. Some that are in a half-moon shape, others that have cut outs for a better grip, and even some that can be stacked together and arranged like a set of legos.
Yoga Block Alternatives
If you don't have a yoga block or can't find one in the studio, there are other household items that can be used as a replacement.
For example, a thick book can be placed under the hand in downward facing dog to help with alignment or ease in your wrists. A pillow can also work in many cases where a yoga block would traditionally go.
Even a thick, rolled-up towel will work in a pinch. If you're traveling and can't pack a yoga block, these are all great alternatives that can be found in most hotel rooms.
How to Clean a Yoga Block
Foam yoga blocks can be cleaned with a damp cloth and mild soap. Be sure to rinse the block thoroughly and allow it to air dry completely before using it again. A mild disinfectant should also be used to prevent the spread of bacteria or viruses.
How many yoga blocks should I use?
Most people use a single block, while others may use two blocks depending on the pose and difficulty of the posture.
Are yoga blocks only for beginners?
Yoga blocks are for yogis of all skill levels. Throughout your yoga journey you may find that you'll need a block to get a deeper stretch in a certain posture, thus making it more difficult. Other times, you may find that you need a block for better alignment and to make a pose easier.