Yoga blocks can be useful for both beginners and advanced yogis. Beginners can use blocks to help them with flexibility, especially if it is not developed yet. Advanced yogis can use blocks in balancing poses. When using a block, never sink or rest your hand fully on it. Always make sure to keep only the fingertips on the block, sort of like your hand is a suction cup. This helps to engage the muscles in the hands and arms causing less injuries. Here are some poses that use blocks.
Pigeon pose is a difficult pose to get into if your flexibility is still developing. This is where the block comes in handy.
- Start by standing at the front of the mat with legs hip distance apart. Bring your right leg directly behind you and bend the left knee.
- Place both hands to the inside of your left foot and begin to heel-toe the left foot over to the right side of the mat.
- Place the block directly under your hips and lay the left knee down. The block should support the hips and help them to tilt slightly forward.
- Make sure that the right leg is directly behind you with the toes pointed.
- Put both hands on either side of the body and sit up tall with the heart pointed forward. Breath into the pose.
- To release from this pose, either lean to the left side to move off the block and come to a seater position or tuck your right toes under and bring weight into the left foot to stand up.
- Repeat on the other side.
This pose often causes a lot of sensation in the hips, but the block helps to make sure that this sensation doesn’t turn into pain.
Blocks can be used for advanced yogis to practice arm balances. Astavakrasana arm balance requires a strong core and can be hard to get the needed height with just using the mat.
- Come into a seated position with your legs directly out in front of you.
- Make sure that you have two blocks, one placed on either side of your body in the shortest height. Inhale to bring the left leg up on the left shoulder.
- Firmly press the leg into the arm to help secure it there.
- Exhale and plant your hands shoulder-width apart on your two blocks.
- Keep pressing your left leg into your shoulder.
- Inhale to cross the right foot over the left and hook the ankles together. Press into your hands and exhale to slide the hips back. Inhale to look forward and lift both shoulders away from the floor.
- Keep the elbows bent as a 90-degree angle and exhale to press your top leg down on your arm so that your hips lift.
- Kick the heels out to straighten your legs and squeeze tight.
- The blocks allow for the body to swing a little while trying to get into this pose.
- Hold this pose for a few deep breaths.
- Bend your knees and lower them onto the ground to release.
- Repeat on the right side.
Yoga blocks are an amazing addition to any yogis practice. These simple little blocks are amazing! If you would like to learn more about using them, make sure to check out this video that demonstrates some exercises.