There are many different yoga props that can enhance and support your ability to express yoga poses. Yoga Blocks are one of the most popular and versatile props to use in a yoga class. Most yoga studios supply yoga blocks and yoga straps for students to use because they are inexpensive and can be so beneficial for making yoga poses accessible for almost anyone.
Constructed with wood, cork or foam, yoga blocks are often used as an extension of the arms, but blocks are also great for supporting the back, head, hips and arms.
A standard yoga block is a rectangular shape measuring 4 x 6 x 9 inches. But blocks are available in many shapes and sizes. See our post on Which Yoga Block is Right For You for more info on types of yoga blocks. Rectangular Yoga Blocks can be placed on three sides which offers three different height options to support your body or lengthen your reach.
Lowest Height – place the block flat on its widest surface. This provides the most stability as it has the greatest surface area on your mat or ground.
Middle Height – place the block on its longest side for 6″ of lift. Stability is somewhat sacrificed in order to gain height. But as long as your block is 4″ wide, you should have enough stability and support.
Highest Height – placed the block on the smallest edge to get the highest lift. This gives you the smallest surface which may reduce your stability a bit.
How To Use Yoga Blocks
Blocks can be used to bring the floor to you to assist with flexibility or to wake up dull areas of your body. They also help to “reduce the reach,” access core stability, and provide unique leverage in far-reaching forward bends. Blocks are great for supporting your body to allow it to soften and release. Yoga blocks can also be used to support other yoga props such as Bolsters and Blankets to give you more height or change angles.
Reduce Your Reach or Bring the Floor to You with Yoga Blocks
Use your blocks at any height to make forward folds, lunges and other yoga poses more accessible. Blocks bring the floor to you so you can keep your body in proper alignment.
- Place a block under your bottom hand in Triangle Pose or Extended Side Angle Pose
- Rest hands on blocks in Standing Forward Fold
- Place a block under your hands in any lunge pose
Access Core Stability with Yoga Blocks
You can increase the difficulty of balance poses and core work by adding a block in unexpected places. Propping your body on a block changes your relationship to the floor, which challenges your balance and core strength.
- Stand on a block in any single leg standing pose
- Squeeze a block between your thighs for core work & core twists
- Sit on a block in Boat Pose
Yoga Blocks as Weights
This will work best with cork or wooden blocks as they are heavier. Think of holding weights for static exercises or as dumbbells with movement.
- Squeeze block between hands over your head, move the block up and down behind your head to strengthen triceps
- Step into Warrior One, hold a block in each hand for biceps curls
- Place a block on each hand in Warrior Two
Support Your Body with Blocks
Allow your body to be supported by blocks. When your body feels supported, the muscles will release & soften so you can experience the full benefits of the pose.
- Support your knees & thighs with blocks in Cobblers Pose
- Rest back of pelvis on a block in Bridge Pose
- Place one block under each knee in Seated Wide Leg Forward Fold
Making Advances Poses More Accessible with Blocks
It takes lots of practice, flexibility and strength to do more advanced yoga poses without support. By adding blocks, you take some of the pressure off the body making these poses more accessible.
- Sit on a block or two in Hero Pose to reduce tension in knees and thighs
- Rest your hands on blocks beside your feet in Camel Pose
- Place a block under your feet when starting to work on Crow Pose
Other Interesting Ways To Use Yoga Blocks
- Use Blocks against the wall for better alignment & to increase depth of poses
ex. Place a block between knee and wall in Warrior One
- Yoga Blocks to massage or add pressure to body parts
ex. Rest back of pelvis on block in Bridge Pose
- Yoga Blocks can help you activate muscle groups
ex. Try doing Sun Salutation A while squeezing a block between your thighs the whole time.
- Use Yoga Blocks to add more lift to your other props
ex. Place blocks under a bolster for 30 Degree Angle Pose
- Yoga Blocks to make the body or pose asymmetrical
ex. Try Table Top & Bird Dogs with a block under one knee to increase difficulty
There are so many ways to play with your props so that you can enjoy your yoga practice again. We love using blocks to challenge us just as much as we love them for relaxing in restorative poses. What fun, creative ways will you use your Yoga Blocks today?