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There was a time when I would never reach for yoga blocks and now, I always have my set of two blocks next to me during Hatha and vinyasa yoga and three during yin and restorative yoga.
I admit, certain egocentric phrases used to pop in my head, “I don’t need it”, “I can do this without a block”, etc. And now, I feel fully comfortable in experimenting to see what works for me, my body, and my practice.
I’ve been practicing yoga since ~2016 and it wasn’t until I registered for my 200 hr yoga teacher training in 2020 that I finally purchased my first set of yoga blocks!
So why use yoga blocks?
Our bodies are all beautifully different. From the lengths of our bones effecting our limb lengths to the tilt of our pelvises, to different levels of flexibilities and strength within our muscles. Because they’re different, the needs are different. Yoga blocks can help bring the floor to us, or bring us to the floor.
In certain yoga postures, there might be slouching of the back, collapse of the torso, and poor alignment. Correct alignment can be critical in preventing injury. Yoga blocks can help us achieve correct alignment in any number of postures.
It can help turn an “active” form to a passive, restorative form. An example of of this is bridge (Setu Bandha), where placing a yoga block underneath your sacrum turns this yoga expression to a restorative pose vs. placing a yoga black in between your thighs to remind you to squeeze your inner thighs together turns it into an active yoga expression.
My Favorite Ways to Use Yoga Blocks
My arms are too short to keep my spine long while folding over my front leg in this yoga form. Yoga blocks on its highest height helps me keep the length in my spine as I surrender in this hamstring stretch.
Half Split (Ardha Hanumanasana)
Again, my arms are too short to allow my hips to fall back without collapsing my spine. I use yoga blocks on its tallest height to keep the my spine straight as a fold over the front leg.
Fish (Matsyasana), supported
This is one of my favorite yoga expressions! I love doing this with my blocks positioned in a “T” and laying over the blocks for several rounds of breath. This heart-opener feels so good any time of the day and it counteracts the hunched-over-working-at-the-computer posture.
Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana)
I use a yoga block on its tallest height here as a place for my lower hand to rest on as I balance.
There are so many more ways to use yoga blocks. I encourage you to experiment, play around, explore to make your practice fit you and your unique needs. Make this yoga practice yours. If you’re finding you need more guidance in this, check out some suggested practices below or consider private yoga instruction.
A Few Yoga Practices Using Yoga Blocks
What I Personally Use & Recommend
Does the job
Keep it away from your cats as they love to put their claws and teeth into them (not speaking from experience or anything…)
Sustainable cork. Heavier blocks that you could use in your practice to progress certain poses. Ex: in high lunge, you could hold these blocks up if you need more of a challenge.
If my Gaiam blocks ever go missing or destroyed, I’ll probably switch over to the sustainable cork option.
Do you already use yoga blocks in your personal practice? If so, what’s your favorite way in using them?