Why You Should Be Using a Yoga Block
If you’re not already using a yoga block, consider this your sign to do so. Usually made of cork, foam, or wood, a yoga block is a popular prop used by yogis around the world to make poses more accessible or add a new challenge.
Here are our tips for how (and why) to use yoga blocks in your practice:
To lengthen poses and increase flexibility
Modified: If you’re struggling to hold a certain pose, we recommend reaching for a yoga block. For example, if you can’t touch your toes while performing Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend), you can place a yoga block on the ground and touch the top of this instead. You’ll still be working towards increased flexibility, but by using a yoga block you can achieve correct alignment and prevent over-straining or potentially injuring yourself.
Advanced: As we mentioned earlier, yoga blocks can be used to add an extra challenge to your pose. If you can perform Uttanasana with ease, why not stand on The Cork Block 4” from B Yoga and attempt to touch the floor from this new height? Doing this will add an extra four inches to your stretch, helping you get deeper into your pose and ultimately become more flexible.
To build balance and strength
Modified: Poses like the plank-like Chaturanga Dandasana can boost core and upper-body strength. However, this is only the case if you’re able to perform the pose correctly. If you’re struggling to find balance and proper alignment while moving into the traditional version of Chaturanga Dandasana, you can add a yoga block under each shoulder to help prop yourself up.
Advanced: Yoga blocks can enhance the thigh and abdominal-strengthening power of poses such as Navasana (Boat Pose). Once in this V-shaped pose, simply place a yoga block between your thighs and squeeze. Lower your legs halfway down while squeezing the block, making sure to keep your arms and chest lifted and core engaged. Come back up into your original pose and repeat until you truly feel the burn.
Additionally, holding a yoga block while performing a movement like Virabhadrasana I, or Warrior I, can add weight that helps build strong arms.
To provide physical and emotional support
Modified: Every yogi’s body is different and at times we all need a moment to rest or show care to areas in need. If you’re experiencing lower back pain, a supported version of Setu Bandha Sarvāṅgāsana, or Bridge pose, may help relieve this. Placing a block under your sacrum when performing this pose adds support to the injured area, which can lessen the chance of re-injury while still stretching and strengthening muscles.
Advanced: By initially performing new and difficult poses with a yoga block, you’ll enjoy not only the physical support it provides but also the emotional support from this tool is there to mitigate your exercise.
To sleep better
All levels: Blocks can have many uses outside your yoga practice, and fostering better sleep is just one. How? Firstly, they can help you achieve certain stretches that may relieve the muscle tensions and aches that wake you up in the night. Secondly, focusing on your breath and body while you complete these stretches can help clear your mind so you can fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper, undisturbed slumber. You can make gentle movement part of your bedtime ritual tonight by placing a yoga block on the ground, coming down onto all fours, and stretching your hands in front of you so they rest on the block. Allow your chest to reach down towards the ground and, with each exhale, melt a little closer to the floor. There’s no need to strain yourself here; simply do what feels comfortable for you and enjoy the calming, meditative experience.
Ready to enhance your next yoga session or nightly wind-down routine? Explore our Movement category to discover intentionally crafted yoga blocks, mats, blankets, and more. And, if you’re based in New York City, you’re always welcome to join us for an in-person yoga class in our dedicated space.