7 Ways to Use a Yoga Block
Yoga blocks truly are a yogi's best friend. They can help you reach further, feel more stable and simply feel better in a posture. Think of them as a brick-like extension of your body. Once you let go of your ego and stop thinking that blocks will make you look like a beginner, you can start to enjoy them fully. We do believe that they are one of the best investments you can make for your home practice, besides having a great mat.
How to Use a Yoga Block:
1- Lengthen your arms in balancing postures
Ever feel like your arms can't quite touch the floor in standing balancing postures, like Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana) or its sister Revolved Half Moon Pose (Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana)? They are both difficult poses to hold, even more so if you aren't well aligned or don't have the support of your bottom hand if you need it. Elevate the floor with the use of a block and feel like that hand can now support you better in your balancing postures.
2- Find your alignment in forward folds
If the flexibility isn't quite there in postures like Paschimottanasana, modiying it with a block can ensure proper alignment and will make the pose safer. Sit on your block to elevate your hips, which will make it easier for you to tilt your pelvis forward (it's essential to keep your back safe before you bend forward!).
3-Support hips & knees
Place your block under your hip in postures where your hips need to be on the mat; Pigeon pose & Hero pose are great examples. That ensures that if the flexibility isn't quite there yet, joints won't we compromised because they now have the support of the block. Same goes for supporting your knees in postures like Baddha Konasana. Place a block under each knee to avoid the weight of your knees from pulling too hard on your inner hips.
4- Fly higher
When starting to explore arm balances, many yogis feel like their arms aren't quite long enough. Are you one of them? Well, trust us, your arms are long enough; you just need to strengthen your core a bit more. But in the meantime, if you want to strengthen your core by practicing these poses and have an idea of what they feel like, use blocks like they are an extension of your arms. Place them on the ground at shoulder distance and place your hands on them. Now you'll probably notice that you are able to lift off in a Lolasana or Elephant Trunk Pose!
5- Fine tuning your practice
If you tend to collapse in Triangle pose, use a block on the floor to make sure both sides of your waist are nice and long. Or if you are one of the many yogis who's knees have a tendency to splay out in back bends, like Bridge or Wheel Pose, place the block between your thighs. This encourages your inner thighs to draw towards one another, which provides more sacral stability, protects your knees and helps to lift your hips higher.
Blocks can be a wonderful addition to your yin or restorative yoga practice. One way to use them that both feels amazing and is great to decompress the spine is to do a Supported Bridge. Lift your hips as if you were going in Bridge Pose, but place your block (at the height of your choice) right under your sacrum. Stay there or stretch your legs forward for added psoas release!
7- Go deeper
Are you at the point where forward folds don't challenge you anymore? You can use a block to add more length to your legs! Try placing the block at the soles of your feet in Paschimottanasana, stepping on it for Uttanasana or placing your heel on one to try over-splits in your Hanumanasana.
How to choose the right yoga block?
Blocks come in a variety of price points, materials and weights. The cheaper, lightest option will be the Foam block. Because they are so lightweight they are easy to travel with, but the foam can show some signs of wear after years of use. Otherwise, Cork blocks are on the heavier, pricier side but are super durable. They might not be as travel friendly as their foam counterparts, but some people prefer heavier blocks; they feel more stable and provide a very solid foundation. Whatever option feels better for you, we recommend to buy two to use in arm balances, supported back bends and seated postures.