Help Moving Into Advanced Postures
Think of it this way: you dont run straight from crawling; you crawl, then stand, then walk. Yoga blocks provide that stand-and-walk before you run, so that you dont stress your body attempting to go straight from a crawling posture to a running one:
- Jump-through support
- Dolphin support for proper shoulder alignment and shoulder girdle engagement
- Forearm Stand support for proper shoulder alignment and shoulder girdle engagement
- Support entering Grasshopper
- Support to work into Sleeping Tortoise
How Many Yoga Blocks Do You Need
The number of yoga blocks youll need will depend primarily on the yoga pose youll be performing. On average, youll only need about two blocks. With the exception of cork blocks, youll likely never need to replace them long-term.;
You may, however, want more than a couple of yoga blocks if you want to experiment with blocks of different sizes and/or materials.
Who Should Use Yoga Blocks
If youve ever assumed that yoga blocks are only for beginners, you might be surprised to learn that blocks can – and should – be used by all levels of practitioners. Yoga postures look and feel different in every body, so it only makes sense that props would be the same way. Our advice? Try them in a variety of ways to find out what feels good for you!;
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The Blocks I Reach For
Recycled Foam Blocks – I prefer these in supporting poses, or in asanas where I am seated. I also use if my wrist or ankles need a pad against the floor.
If I’m looking for active support for planks or standing poses I need something with a high density like a sustainable cork or wooden block. We have both cork yoga bricks and cork yoga blocks, and the bevelled edges soften the block and give your a greater grip. Natural cork also increases in grip as you sweat, so my hands do not slip.
Best With Strap: Gaiam Yoga Block + Yoga Strap Combo Set
Just like yoga blocks can make some postures more accessible, yoga straps can make some stretches more accessible. Given this, its no surprise that the two are often sold together. If youre looking to build strength and flexibility, consider buying a block and strap setlike Gaiams Yoga Block + Yoga Strap Combo Set. Gaiams yoga block is a best-in-class option, and its 6-foot yoga strap is incredibly versatile. And really, why buy them separately when you could just buy them together?
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What Are The Different Uses Of Yoga Blocks
- Helps execute proper alignment when performing different yoga poses
- Supports range of motion, by bringing the floor closer to you, especially when performing difficult and challenging poses
- Helps yoga beginners to execute different yoga poses and it lessens the possibility of having injuries and if the individual has physical limitations
- Assists in proper engagement and support the different muscle group from one pose to another
- Acts as additional support when doing different positions
Standing Forward Fold Pose:
Much like Triangle Pose, blocks can be used with Standing Forward Folds to help raise the floor if the student isnt flexible enough to reach the ground. Tight hamstrings can prevent attaining the full posture in many poses, blocks are a great way to keep proper alignment instead of reaching for the ground if the hamstrings are too tight.
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How Yoga Blocks Can Help
Help with flexibility and alignment! Its no secret that many yoga poses require flexibility. Beginners can use blocks to raise the floor if they lack the needed flexibility to touch the mat on their own. Many times, pose alignment is sacrificed when students try to force themselves to stretch too far, so the blocks can also help keep proper alignment.
Simple Poses To Elevate Your Practice With Yoga Blocks
Blocks are the prop we tend to reach for in balancing poses. But we want to highlight that a block is great, super powerful and a teaching tool in the asanas you practice regularly with no props. Thank you to Emily Beth from Your Yoga With Em for sharing your practice with us in the images below. You can follow on IG
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An Extension To Your Arm
This is the primary reason for which blocks are used in yoga practice. There are certain poses in yoga which demand your hands to touch the ground or the mat.
Often times, our body is not ready to cope up with the difficulty of the complicated pose and hence does not act in a very flexible manner and we fail to touch the ground.And that is when yoga blocks come of use.
They help us to reach the floor allowing us to perform any difficult or complicated pose without straining our hands. However, bringing the ground closer to us with the help of blocks does not mean that we are not doing the pose. It means that we just cannot yet.
So, for occasions like this it is better to use a yoga block to bring the ground closer to you and prevent your hands from straining in order to build that flexibility. In fact, using a block for situations like this helps the yoga practitioner to achieve a correct alignment, which in turn helps them with the benefits of a particular pose.
Other Benefits ;
On the other hand, if we choose not to use the block we will not only fail in receiving the benefit of the pose but we also might end up hurting ourselves. With the help of the block, we can glide into any position smoothly and easily and as our flexibility starts building and evolving we can even try removing the blocks.
Yoga poses which usually demand the use of blocks are: low lunge, side angle, triangle, half-moon and even a downward dog pose.
Ways To Use A Yoga Block In Your Workout
Deepen stretches, ignite your core, or invite awareness into movements and poses youve done a thousand timesjust by adding the versatile yoga block.
Below are 24 ways to add a yoga block into your workout routine.
- Stand with your feet under your hips, arms in front of you, squeezing a yoga block between your forearms.
- Sweep your arms straight overhead, keeping the block pressed firmly between your forearms and hold.
- Draw your shoulders down away from your ears and breathe.
Deep Neck Stretch
- Lie on your back, feet flat on the floor, knees bent, yoga block in your hands.
- Place the block under your head at the base of your skull. Keep your hands on either side of the block for stability as you press your hips toward the ceiling and hold the stretch.
- Lie on your back, feet flat on the floor, knees bent, yoga block next to your hips.
- Lift your hips to the ceiling, and slide the block under your tailbone to support your backbend.
- Begin kneeling on your right knee, left knee bent in front of you, left foot flat on the floor. Both knees start at 90 degrees.
- Place the block under your left foot lengthwise so it elevates your forward foot a few inches off the ground.
- Tuck your pelvis and lean forward into your left leg to feel a stretch in your left hip flexor. Hold onto your left knee for support.
- Release and switch sides.
Expansive Thoracic Breath Opener
Asymmetrical Downward Dog
Loaded Core Pike
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Yoga Blocks In Restorative Poses
May 25, 2015 at 3:35pm PDT
What Youll Need:
- One or two yoga blocks
- Yoga Mat
- Blanket for cushioning, if needed
When youre learning how to use yoga blocks, sometimes restorative poses get overlooked. A good vinyasa flow class is a delicious way to practice, but youre missing out if you arent taking the time to do a yin or restorative practice at least once a week.
My favorite way to sneak some restorative poses into my regular practice is with a savasana or backbend alternative. Give them a try; theyre totally worth switching your regular poses out for!
Buying Guide For Best Yoga Blocks
Every yoga practitioner has a favorite pose. Some yogis love the back stretch in Downward-facing Dog, while others enjoy the challenge of Half Moon Pose. When youre practicing a new pose, yoga blocks can help you reach your goals while maintaining proper posture, balance, and form.
While yoga blocks are lightweight, their dense construction is strong enough to support your body weight. Blocks are typically made from foam, cork, or recycled materials ;some of which are environmentally friendly for eco-conscious yogis. Yoga blocks share almost identical construction, but there are slight variations in size, texture, and edge shape. These design differences can affect balance and the stackability of the blocks.
Take your practice to the next level by investing in yoga blocks. Our buying guide has everything you need to consider when shopping for these workout tools.
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My Yoga Block Learning Curve
Since I started my Yoga journey, I didn’t understand the importance of feeling the muscles as much as doing pose upon pose. When I started my practice, I felt that I was improving on flexibility, and my mental health was better. But, in the long run I also started to notice that my body didn’t feel as balanced as it should.
So, one day I decided to “take it easy” and use a pair of cork bricks from the yoga studio. That day was the day that I decided to go inwards, leaving the egos and expectations of the outside world. And then it clicked; I realised I could feel more, and I was supporting my body in safety. In this case, less was more for me.
Now I can get to poses that I never believed possible, all thanks to the use of bricks and blocks.
Using Your Blocks In: Cow Pose
What Youll Need:
- One to two yoga blocks, depending on your current flexibility
- Yoga Mat
The biggest challenge new yogis have with arm balances is getting their hips high enough. If youve been struggling getting into crow and it isnt because your shoulders/core arent strong enough, try using a yoga block!
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One: Put The Block At The Back Of Your Mat
Now isnt the time to get your block as high at it goes; place it horizontally on the ground. This should be high enough to get your hips up at the required height. If youre using two blocks, place them about hip distance apart .
If youre worried about faceplanting , put a folded blanket in front of you. Sometimes having that extra cushion eliminates fear.
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You Can Reduce The Risk Of Injury And Improve Your Form
I touched on this before but yoga blocks and props allow you to support yourself in challenging poses that could otherwise injure you. For example, a yoga wheel is often used to support your spines natural curvature while practicing backbends. Without the wheel, you could compromise your spinal health and put yourself in a position where you might get stuck on the floor.;
Yoga blocks meet this same need by supporting you in many poses that might otherwise require you to sacrifice form.;
In fact, Iyengar yoga, sometimes called furniture yoga, is one of the strictest forms of yoga. Instructors use an abundance of props with their students and often this is the recommended form of yoga for anyone with injuries and those who need help building stabilizer muscles and flexibility. If theyre using props in Iyengar, chances are you should be too.;
What Can You Substitute For A Yoga Block
Are there good yoga block alternatives?
In a pinch, you can use the following for yoga block substitutes.
For accessibility and strength
- Two 28oz cans of tomatoes;
- Two dumbbells size 10 lb-15 lb.
- Two think books duct-taped together
- The front side of a chair
- A folded bath towel, blanket, cushion, or pillow
Clearly, none of these is ideal because they are cumbersome, heavy, and oddly shaped. But substitutes will be better than nothing.;;
However, once you decide yoga is for, whether you practice at home on in-studio, its worth getting a good set of yoga blocks.;
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Help Find Your Balance In Standing Poses
Beginners can have a particularly difficult time finding their balance in standing hands-to-floor poses. Even for seasoned;practitioners;there are always days that feel a bit more off-kilter and uncentered than usual. Half Moon Pose is a particularly difficult pose that requires you to have one arm on the ground, and one leg parallel to the mat, while opening the front side of your body, gazing at your opposite arm lifted straight up above you. Use a yoga block as a short cut to the floor. Also, if your can’t get your head to touch the floor in Wide-Legged Forward Bend;, you can put the yoga block on the floor to add height.
Which Yoga Blocks To Use
Theres a variety of yoga blocks you can buy and they all have their own special claim. But the reality is you dont need anything special. Yoga blocks come in the standard 9 x 6 x 4 inch size and as long as the material can support your weight, youre good to go.
The most common materials for yoga blocks are foam and cork. The foam versions are the cheapest by far. However, they dont last as long, stain easily, and theyre not as good for the environment.
Cork yoga blocks are usually more money but cork naturally kills bacteria and its good for the environment. No matter what material you choose though, they all get the job done for the most part. ;
One thing I do want to say here is that if youre especially new and not very flexible, you might want to get a AND a set of blocks. The yoga wheel is taller and helps you with things like in addition to normal asanas. The wheel is a good starter and you can work into the blocks in as you gain more flexibility. ;
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Why Should You Use Yoga Blocks
Yoga blocks are a really savvy tool to use to help you substantially improve your yoga practice and physical well being. Here are a few things they help you with:
- Protect and build strength in weak wrists
- Get deeper into poses
I promise after you read this article, youre going to immediately want to go get yourself a pair of your own blocks! But FIRST, make sure you get the right ones.
Three: Relax Onto Your Blocks
Place your forearms down onto your blocks, extend your heart so your back lengthens, and look forward! If you look down, your back is going to round. You can rock forward and back if it helps allevaite some of the discomfort. No matter how much it burns, remember you want sensation, not pain!
If your hips are tight, you can keep your back knee down and your arms straight.
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Ok Im Sold I Need Yoga Blocks How Many Yoga Blocks Should I Get
We recommend 2 yoga blocks , considering you have 2 sides of your body to work evenly. Also, many restorative poses utilize two blocks to support multiple areas of your body to allow full relaxation in the pose.
What one yoga block can be used for:
- Length support in one sided poses such as Triangle, Extended Side Angle,; and Half Moon
- Comfort support in poses such as Hero, Fish, and Pigeon
- Balance and alignment support in poses such as Crow and Boat
You need two yoga blocks for:
- Length support in two sided poses such as Full Split, Downward Facing Dog, and Camel
- Strength building exercises such as L Sit and Chaturanga;
- Comfort support in two sides poses such as Reclined Bound Angle
- For extra support in restorative postures such as Bridge and Fish chest openers
- If you are extra tight on one side and need extra length
If you were to ask me, Im definitely going to say you should go ahead and get a set of two blocks. The benefits of having two just seem like a no-brainer and it is really not that much more expensive- and you will have them for years to come to assist you in an endless amount of ways to advance your yoga practice!
When Do You Use Foam Yoga Blocks
Foam yoga blocks can be used for different types of yoga:
Power Yoga, Yin, Restorative, Hatha, and Beginner yoga classes
The following yoga classes above require the use of yoga blocks that are lightweight, soft and easy to carry while doing poses in the yoga mat. When attending in Yin or Restorative yoga classes there is a possibility that you will be needing more than 2 yoga blocks and foam blocks are soft and will provide cushion and support on the joints, especially for individuals who have sensitive joints. For yoga beginners, it is recommended for them to use this type of yoga blocks. Foam yoga blocks are the most versatile and you will be able to use them with ease until you become comfortable in doing different yoga poses.
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