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how to use yoga blocks

How to Use Yoga Blocks To Instantly Boost Your Practice

If you’re just starting in yoga, you may be wondering how to use yoga blocks. It seems clear that they’re a prop you can put your hands on when the floors a little too far away but, how else do you use them?

If this sounds like you and you have questions about using yoga blocks, keep reading because we’ll show you the basics of bringing this handy prop into your practice, why you need to use them and 5 poses you should be using them for right now. 

Which Yoga Blocks to Use

There’s a variety of yoga blocks you can buy and they all have their own special claim. But the reality is you don’t need anything special. Yoga blocks come in the standard 9 x 6 x 4 inch size and as long as the material can support your weight, you’re good to go.

The most common materials for yoga blocks are foam and cork. The foam versions are the cheapest by far. However, they don’t last as long, stain easily, and they’re not as good for the environment.

cork yoga blocks

Cork yoga blocks are usually more money but cork naturally kills bacteria and it’s good for the environment. No matter what material you choose though, they all get the job done for the most part.  

One thing I do want to say here is that if you’re especially new and not very flexible, you might want to get a yoga wheel AND a set of blocks. The yoga wheel is taller and helps you with things like backbends in addition to normal asanas. The wheel is a good starter (extremely useful) and you can work into the blocks in as you gain more flexibility.  

The Best Yoga Block Sets: 

Fledo yoga Blocks

Fledo Yoga Blocks are simple Eva foam which is dense and more than capable of supporting your weight. They’re also lightweight and offered in a number of great colors. 

Manduka Cork Yoga Blocks With Strap

If I’m being honest, this is my favorite set of blocks. Cork is naturally antimicrobial, better for the environment and this set includes a yoga strap (which you’ll probably use often). 

Benefits of Yoga Blocks

woman in white clothes using yoga block

When I first started yoga, I thought using props was a sign of weakness. I was foolish. Once I began using them it made a world of difference in my practice. I wasn’t overstretching to hit poses anymore, I reduced the likelihood of injury, and I enjoyed practicing more because I felt successful. Here’s a few other big benefits of yoga blocks: 

You Can Go Deeper

Using a yoga block can help you go deeper in your asanas. I know this is a paradox – but hear me out. When you pull your body to stretch beyond your flexibility you’re recruiting other muscles, not getting a full stretch on the proper muscles and risking injury. 

By employing blocks you can achieve deep stretches of the correct muscles while your body is supported. You won’t have to go beyond your comfort or bring in other muscles that aren’t supposed to be working. Additionally, by bringing the ground closer, you open up and stretch smaller stabilizer muscles. 

Blocks Have Different Heights 

woman with hands on yoga blocks

Yoga blocks are typically 9 x 6 x 4 inches in size. That’s great because when you need the extra support you can turn the block on it’s tall side and raise the ground 9 inches closer to you. As you progress more in your practice and personal flexibility you can turn the block on it’s shorter side and then eventually lay it flat before finally extending all the way to the floor. 

The benefit here is that for the price of one yoga block, you get the benefits of 3 sizes to walk you through your progressions.  

You Can Reduce the Risk of Injury and Improve Your Form

I touched on this before but yoga blocks and props allow you to support yourself in challenging poses that could otherwise injure you. For example, a yoga wheel is often used to support your spines natural curvature while practicing backbends. Without the wheel, you could compromise your spinal health and put yourself in a position where you might get stuck on the floor. 

Yoga blocks meet this same need by supporting you in many poses that might otherwise require you to sacrifice form. 

In fact, Iyengar yoga, sometimes called “furniture yoga”, is one of the strictest forms of yoga. Instructors use an abundance of props with their students and often this is the recommended form of yoga for anyone with injuries and those who need help building stabilizer muscles and flexibility. If they’re using props in Iyengar, chances are you should be too. 

woman in yoga pose against wall

How to Use Yoga Blocks (And 5 Positions You Can Do Today)

The key to properly using yoga blocks is to avoid putting the bulk of your weight on the block. Instead, you want the majority of your weight to be stretching the muscles you’re trying to elongate and then using the block to prevent straining.

To ensure you’re not depending on the block too heavily, try keeping your fingers spread and creating a suction cup with your hand. This recruits your hand and arm muscles while building length in the muscles being stretched. 

Below I’ve included some of the best positions for yoga blocks but keep in mind that this is not a complete list. My recommendation is that you keep them by your side during your asanas and use them whenever you need a boost.  

1. Forward Folds

The forward fold is one of t