Woman Doing Yoga with Yoga Blocks

A Guide to Yoga Blocks – Simple Accessories

While traditional yoga practice rarely relied on additional pieces of equipment or props, modern yoga practitioners have found a lot of worth from a few items. Along with a yoga mat, yoga blocks are the most popular accessory used in this ancient form of exercise and one that has amazing benefits.

So, what is a yoga block exactly? These simple designs are made generally from cork or foam, and they’re intended to provide balance and stability so that you have an easier time achieving poses. These high-density devices provide a prop for the yoga practitioner and can help you achieve far more difficult moves than you could without.

Woman Exercising Yoga with Yoga Blocks

Depending on the degree of difficulty in which you practice yoga and the range of moves you’re trying to achieve, the type of yoga block that will be best for you can differ. With so many different products available, it’s simply a matter of finding one that suits your body and yoga style so that you can experience this amazing accessory for yourself.

Benefits of Using Yoga Blocks

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, there’s no denying that yoga blocks have some great benefits. The physically challenging poses included in all styles of yoga mean sometimes we need a hand before we can perfect them. Here are just a few ways that incorporating yoga blocks into your routine can help.

Woman Stretching with Yoga Blocks
  • Alignment - These blocks give you added support so that you can focus more on aligning your body to achieve the correct poses.
  • Increasing Flexibility - With these props underneath your hands, you’re given a greater reach in poses so that you can naturally improve your own flexibility over time.
  • Hold Length - With yoga blocks in place you’re less strained and better equipped to hold your poses for longer, making you more efficient at achieving them.
  • Reducing Injuries - Although the injury rate for yoga is reportedly very low compared to other forms of physical activity, using these blocks can reduce the risk of strains and sprains that come from overstretching.
  • Learning New Poses - For beginners and experts, yoga blocks can give you the added advantage to achieve the new poses you might be working on until you’re confident enough to perform them on your own.

How to Use Yoga Blocks

There are three main ways that yoga blocks can help you in your practice, so whether you want to rely on these props for all three or just use them now and then when you need assistance it’s really up to you.

Man Doing Pyramid Yoga Pose with Yoga Blocks
  • They bring the floor to you - The most common reason for using yoga blocks is so that you can bring the ground to you. Most people place them underneath their hands so that they bring the floor closer without straining the hamstrings or back as they reach. If you feel that the ground is just out of reach for a certain pose, try propping a block underneath to help you achieve it.
  • They teach you internal and external rotation - By placing a block in between your hands and raising it above your head, then press firmly into the block. This is an external rotation. Now place the block in between your thighs and press them firmly together. This is an internal rotation. Both these practices are important in yoga and will help you to perform a greater range of moves. This engagement you feel when you practice with your blocks is what you essentially want to achieve in a whole range of different poses.
  • They allow you to rest and rejuvenate - When practicing restorative yoga, the aim is to relax and enjoy the pose for as long as you can. By using props such as yoga blocks you can rest easily in the position so that you get all of the benefits without too much exertion. By relaxing and restoring your body in between poses you are guaranteed a more effective yoga session.

Types of Yoga Blocks

There are two main types of yoga blocks used, each with their benefits to the user. Depending on what you feel most comfortable and supported with, one style may suit you better than the others.

Woman Doing Yoga with Cork Yoga Block

Cork Yoga Blocks

Cork is often considered denser than foam and offers a renewable and sustainable material source. The extra firmness of cork may suit some, but others find this material uncomfortable to use during yoga.

Yoga Foam Blocks

Usually the most popular type of yoga blocks, and favored more by beginners, the foam variety also has some great advantages. Although the materials used aren’t as eco-friendly as cork, they do offer more comfort and cushioning. This makes them ideal for achieving tricky poses or building up strength and flexibility.

Woman Doing Yoga with Yoga Foam Blocks

Finding The Best Yoga Blocks

Using yoga props of any kind is a matter of personal preference. Some expert practitioners might frown upon yoga blocks whereas others find them a must-have accessory for improving form. Depending on your personal needs, the best yoga blocks for you might differ from the next person.

Woman Doing Yoga on Yoga Blocks

If you do decide to choose foam blocks, you can select a brand with a reputation for eco-friendly materials. This will remove some of the negative impact associated with these accessories. Cork blocks can also be purchased with rounded edges and a softer surface so that they feel just as comfortable as foam, so it really depends on individual preference.

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, there’s certainly value to be found with using yoga blocks. Not only can these amazing accessories improve your ability to perform poses, but they allow you a chance to build on your own skills naturally and in your own time, making you a more effective yoga practitioner overall.

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