There is a misconception that yoga blocks are only for beginners. But in reality, even the most seasoned yogis use yoga blocks to enhance their asanas. Do yoga blocks really help, you ask? We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the number of ways yoga blocks can improve your yoga practice.
What Are Yoga Blocks?
Yoga blocks are props introduced in the 70s by B.K.S Iyengar, the founder of Iyengar yoga, to help enhance the practice. While they now come in many shapes and sizes, traditionally, yoga blocks are a rectangular brick shape measuring roughly 4″ x 6″ x 9″.
The benefit of this particular size yoga block is that you’re able to experience three different heights by adjusting the position of the block. You may need to change the placement depending on the particular pose and your range of motion. Yoga blocks are made of cork or foam and are very sturdy to support your weight in different poses.
You can also find 3-inch yoga blocks for those who are shorter and 5-inch yoga blocks for taller folk.
Do Yoga Blocks Really Help?
Yes, yoga blocks really do help. They make yoga poses more accessible for beginners and those dealing with stiff joints or injuries. But that’s certainly not all they do. Here are some of the many benefits of using yoga blocks in your practice.
Yoga Blocks Make Difficult Poses More Accessible
One of the main benefits of using yoga blocks in your practice is to make more “difficult” yoga poses accessible. Yoga blocks decrease the distance between you and the ground, making it possible to modify poses to suit your ability.
Can’t touch the ground in a standing wide leg pose? Your yoga block is there to bring the ground to you. Find it uncomfortable to sit on the floor in a seated cross-legged position or with your legs out straight? Sit on your yoga block to alleviate some of the tension from your hips and pelvis.
(Sitting on your block will also make your mindfulness meditation practice more comfortable and restorative.)
Yoga Blocks Reduce Strain
Have you tried to force yourself to touch your toes in a forward fold? While you may think you’re giving your hamstrings a good stretch, what you’re actually doing is putting a huge strain on your lower back. The lower back is often an underused and thus weak part of the body, making it more susceptible to injury.
When beginning a yoga practice, many of us don’t have the range of motion necessary for some yoga poses. Yoga blocks help us work our way up to the asana without strain.
Yoga Blocks Encourage The Correct Form
If you’re trembling, struggling to hold a pose, and not focusing on your breathing, it defeats the purpose of your yoga practice. That’s where our trusty yoga blocks come to the rescue, again! Yoga blocks help you achieve the proper alignment in your asana to reap the full benefits of your practice.
You don’t want to build bad habits when you’re first starting yoga. Yoga blocks help encourage the proper form and help your body get used to the feeling of being in an asana. Correct alignment is key, and building good habits from the get-go will help you grow in your practice.
Yoga Blocks Help You Experience The Pose In A New Way
Yoga blocks aren’t just for newbies starting their practice. In fact, they are a wonderful way for seasoned yogis to experience asanas in a new way.
Yoga blocks can activate smaller muscles adding a challenge to your traditional yoga poses. Want to seriously feel the burn? Squeeze a yoga block between your thighs in a chair pose. Or hold your yoga block in place in a bridge pose. Yoga blocks can ramp up the difficulty to help build strength and make your practice a little more exciting!
Yoga Blocks Help You Work Your Way Up To Inversions
Inversions can seem pretty intimidating, especially if you’re not used to being upside down! Yoga blocks can help take some of the stress out of practicing inversions and help you build up the strength to hold the pose.
By stacking your yoga blocks and planting your shoulders on them, you can get used to the feeling of (safely!) being in an inversion.
The Best Yoga Blocks To Add To Your Practice
Gaiam Essentials Yoga Blocks
These classic yoga blocks by Gaiam are light yet supportive and made out of durable foam that safely supports your body weight. They have a nonslip surface to help you modify all poses to suit your range of motion. With over 20,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, you can trust that these yoga blocks will be the perfect companion for your yoga practice!
“Use under your hands, feet, or seat (meditation) to ensure the proper alignment. Safely support and modify poses to suit your level of flexibility. If you feel tight, don’t risk injury and grab a block or two.”
Gaiam Cork Yoga Brick
These cork blocks by Gaiam are made of 100% natural cork, making them a sustainable and recyclable choice for the conscious consumer. The cork surface provides a natural grip helping you reach advanced asanas or modify challenging poses. The yoga blocks also make an excellent seat for meditation. But don’t worry, cork is extremely durable and will hold its shape for years to come.
“Our Cork Yoga Brick is a great option for those who do not feel flexible enough to complete some yoga poses. These bricks can also be used to extend the stretch of some poses for advanced yogis.”
Do Yoga Blocks Really Help? Final Thoughts
Yoga blocks allow you to strengthen, lengthen, create more space in your body, practice yoga in a new way, and improve your stability. So, yes, yoga blocks really do help! Roll out your mat, grab your blocks and get ready to develop a deeper connection to your practice.
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