Beginners Guide To Using a Yoga Block
A yoga block is a brick-shaped prop usually made of foam, bamboo, cork or wood. While this prop is often associated with beginners, the yoga block is actually used by yogis of all levels to enhance each practice. This simple rectangle can help a practitioner access yoga poses through modification, tap into a deeper state of relaxation and reduce unnecessary strain. Here is a guide for effectively using a yoga block.
The Methods for Using a Yoga Block
A yoga block can be used as an extension of your arms to help when you are not flexible enough to reach certain yoga poses. It can also be used to support your back, hips and head. The three main methods for using this prop include balance reinforcement, posture support and pose intensification.
1. Balance Reinforcement
You can use the yoga block in the following poses to support your balance.
- Standing Forward Fold: Place the yoga block on the floor in front of you and put your hands on the block instead of the floor. This allows you to relax into this position more easily and reduces hamstring strain.
- Triangle Pose: Before easing into this pose, place your yoga block slightly in front of the leg you plan to lower onto. As you move your hand down your shin, place your hand onto the block. This will prevent you from over-extending your hamstring and locking your knees.
Generally, your yoga block will assist you in any standing pose to enhance your range of motion by "elevating" the floor. No matter your level of experience, it is good to keep yours nearby to help you settle into poses that require a focus on balance.
2. Posture Support
To gain correct body alignment and enhance your form, use your yoga block in the following poses.
- Hero's Pose: Before you sit in this position, place your yoga block between your calves. Proceed to sit on top of the block and rest your hands on your thighs. The block lifts your hips and reduces knee pressure to improve your posture.
- Downward Facing Dog: Before moving into this position, hold your yoga block between your legs. As you move into this pose, the block will keep your leg muscles active to maintain a strong alignment throughout your entire body.
3. Pose Intensification
Use your yoga block to deepen your stretch in the following poses.
- Elevated Butterfly Pose: Before folding over your ankles in this pose, elevate your ankles with your yoga block. This will help to open your hips without straining your IT bands.
- Frog Pose: When aligning yourself in this pose, place your elbows onto your block. This helps to open and stretch your hips and groin.