Wondering how to use yoga blocks? Look no further! This post discusses everything a person needs to know about how to properly utilize these tools for their next meditation session.
Some people may avoid using yoga blocks, believing that it is cheating. However, yoga blocks are simply tools to help practitioners achieve the proper alignments in the poses. Think of these blocks as the training wheels for yoga.
How To Use Yoga Blocks for Beginners
Here are five yoga poses for beginners and the best ways to incorporate yoga blocks in them.
Downward Facing Dog
This pose requires the yogi to stand on their hands and feet, forming a triangle with their body, their hips being the triangle’s top point. They can incorporate yoga blocks into this pose by either placing them under the hands or under the feet.
When placing the yoga blocks under the hands, they shift their center of gravity backward. This way, they take the pressure out of their hands and wrists when holding the pose. Meanwhile, placing the yoga blocks under the feet emphasizes hip height. In other words, they would stretch the back of their legs and calves more deeply than without the blocks.
This pose helps yogis stretch their back and hips. It requires them to kneel and sit on their knees, and then lean forward, resting their belly between their thighs and their forehead on the floor. While their buttocks rest on their heels, they stretch their arms on either side of the yoga mat.
There are two good ways to incorporate yoga blocks in this pose. First, the yogi can place one under their buttocks to serve as a seat. This way, the ground is closer to their hips, making it more comfortable for their hips and knees.
Second, they can place two yoga blocks on either side of their arms. Instead of stretching them all the way, they would rest their elbows on the blocks, bending their arms toward their head while leaning forward. This position elongates the triceps while opening their chest and shoulders gently.
This versatile, standing yoga pose offers five different ways to bring yoga blocks into the mix. All variations require yogis to hold one yoga block between their hands.
First, the yogi would hold the yoga block above their head, strengthening their arms. Having a yoga block this way activates the shoulders, back, and rib muscles.
Second, still holding one yoga block between their hands, they can bend their arms behind their head. This pose stretches the triceps while gently opening their chest and activating their shoulders.
Third, they would hold the yoga block in front of their chest, keeping their elbows tucked to their sides. This pose is known as Chaturanga arms, which whiles the mind-body connection and activates the triceps and back muscles.
Fourth, the yogi would bring the yoga block forward in a plank. This mountain plank pose activates the shoulders and serves as preparation for the regular plank pose.
Finally, yogis can put a block between their thighs when raising their arms in a regular mountain pose. Squeezing the yoga block activates the inner thighs. At the same time, it supports the pelvis, hips, and lower spine.
This pose is another standing pose. It tones the entire body, focusing on the thighs. Achieving the chair pose is like sitting on an imaginary chair, hence the name. There are three ways to incorporate yoga blocks into this pose.
First, the yogi can simply hold one block between their hands. This way, they activate their shoulders, back, and rib muscles to strengthen their arms.
Next, they can grip one block between their thighs, activating the inner thighs. Having a block in this position supports the lower spine, hips, and pelvis while sitting on air.
Finally, standing on a yoga block helps challenge the person’s balance. With a block under their feet, they strengthen the stabilizer muscles in their ankles.
This pose is similar to the chair pose, where the yogi sits on air. Also known as the diver pose, the posture requires the person to stand forward while balancing on a bend. Adding a yoga block under the heels stretches the soles of the feet. This way, the person activates the stabilizers in their feet and calves.
How To Use Yoga Blocks for Back
Here are four yoga poses targeting the back and how to use yoga blocks in them.
This classic pose strengthens the back by stretching the spine, hips, and groin. It also strengthens the yogi’s shoulders, chest, and legs.
Achieving it requires the yogi to form a triangle with their legs, one forward and one behind. Then, they would lean forward and touch their hand (same side as the forward leg) to the floor while raising their opposite arm to the ceiling.
Yogis can add a block under the hand on the floor. This way, they add more length to the spine, making the twist more achievable.
This gentle back pose stretches the abdomen, chest, and shoulders. It requires the yogi to lay on their stomach with hands under their shoulders and fingers facing forward. They would press on their hands to lift their upper body part or all the way.
Yogis can place a yoga block under their hands to keep their hands high. Meanwhile, they can also hold one between their hands and reach forward when lifting their body upward. This way, they activate their shoulder and back muscles. At the same time, they challenge themselves with the weight of the block.
This pose is a backbend. It stretches the spine to relieve backaches. Yogis would lie on their back with their knees bent, drawing their heels in. Their goal is to lift their tailbone by pressing on their feet. They can have a yoga block under their back to allow their spine to stretch gently.
This pose is another backbend that can use one or two yoga blocks. When using one block, the yogi can keep one under the middle of their back, keeping the chest from collapsing down and offering a deeper backbend.
Meanwhile, they can also add one under their head and another under their chest for a supported fish pose. Having these yoga blocks in these positions encourages a gentle opening of the heart to promote relaxation.
How To Use Yoga Blocks for Stretching
Here are two of the best yoga stretches for improving flexibility and how to use yoga blocks to improve their effects.
Yogis can achieve the floor bow pose by grabbing their feet from behind while keeping their pelvis on the floor. They can hold a yoga block between their thighs to support their pelvis and hips. Or, they could keep one under the belly to encourage them to lift their chest and activate their back muscles while posing.
Low Lunge Step-Through Pose
Yogis would simply keep blocks under their hands to do this pose. Achieving the pose has three stages. First, the yogi must hold a three-legged dog pose. Then, they would bring their raised leg up to their nose. Finally, they put their leg down between their hands.
There are several ways to incorporate yoga blocks into a yoga pose. It all depends on the yoga pose that the person is attempting. These tools are simply meant for support. However, they also add challenges to the poses for more benefits. Be sure to assess whether a yoga pose is achievable as is before adding this extra element into the mix.