Whether you have just started doing yoga, are looking to advance into certain postures, or just want to meditate more regularly, having yoga blocks at hand can be very helpful and enriching in your asana and meditation practice.
But what exactly are yoga blocks for? There are actually a number of ways to use them. Here’s how you can use your yoga blocks:
1. To bring the ground closer to you
In postures like Triangle or Side Angle, it might be hard to place your bottom hand next to the front foot. And if you are not used to these poses just yet, putting your hand down on the mat may compromise your entire alignment. Especially for beginners, you might end up feeling uncomfortable and even out of breath.
Remember that part of yoga is practicing ahimsa, and you want to take care of yourself throughout your practice. Take a block underneath your bottom hand and notice how it gives your stability in your body, more length in your spine, and more space to open your chest and breathe.
2. To challenge you in your practice
Yoga blocks can make certain poses easier and more accessible, but they can also turn up the difficulty in others! Try, for example, squeezing a yoga block in between your thighs during Boat Pose. This will encourage you to really engage your inner thighs and lower belly.
You can also try doing Tree Pose while standing on a block, challenging your balance even more. There are so many possibilities when it comes to getting creative with your yoga blocks, especially if you are a seasoned practitioner or a yoga teacher yourself.
3. To train your body in arm balances, inversions, and backbends
Looking to polish your Crow pose? Or perhaps you would like to work on your Tripod headstand? Blocks are a great learning and training tool to help you progress in bigger, more complex poses.
Try taking 4 to 6 blocks underneath your shoulders, to help support you as you practice your Tripod headstand. You can also perch your feet onto a block, before floating in your Crow. Maybe take blocks underneath your hands, when pushing up into Wheel to achieve an even deeper backbend.
4. To relax and unwind
If you have ever done Yin or Restorative Yoga, you might already know that blocks are an essential for these types of yoga. Since blocks can help bring the ground closer to you, they help provide additional support for seated forward folds—so you do not have to stress out when melting into Butterfly or Dragonfly! Allow the block to support you while you focus on softening the body.
Blocks are also essential for restorative backbends like supported bridge. You can also incorporate them in myofascial release routines, together with yoga bolsters, foam rollers, and massage balls.
5. To enhance your meditation experience
Try sitting on a yoga block the next time you meditate. The firm structure underneath your hips can encourage you to sit taller and focus more. A block (or two) gives your body physical feedback, so your spine can lengthen and maintain an upright position as you sit comfortably for a few minutes.