Yoga blocks can greatly aid your yoga practice, especially if you are looking to deepen muscle activation and make basic asanas more challenging.
Most people think that only beginners use yoga blocks. However, advanced yoga practitioners also use them to create more balance, especially in standing poses.
A yoga block can also reduce strain caused by overreaching, preventing injuries. It can also help you achieve proper alignment, make basic asanas more challenging and deepen muscle activation.
How to use a yoga block? How do you choose the right yoga block for you? Here's everything you should know to make the right choice.
Yoga blocks were popularized by B.K.S. Iyengar, the founder of "Iyengar Yoga." According to him, the standard size for a yoga block is 9x4.5x3 inches.
However, depending on the size of your hands and body, you may choose a bigger or smaller one.
Here are some popular choices:
If you do not like bulky, heavy blocks, then these yoga blocks are right up your alley.
They are light but strong enough to take immense pressure during your yoga practice. You do not have to worry about them getting deformed or all squished up.
If you have just started practising yoga, you should opt for foam yoga blocks. They are easy to carry and perfect for both standing and sitting postures.
However, if you are using them for support, they may not feel as stable as other materials, such as wood.
If you are looking for a foam block, we recommend the foam yoga block. For people with large hands, the XL foam yoga block would be very convenient and comfortable.
When yoga blocks were first introduced, they were made of wood, specifically bamboo wood.
Today, you will find yoga blocks made of different kinds of wood, such as pine, birch, bamboo, balsa, and poplar. Wooden blocks are hard and heavy.
However, they are extremely stable and very sturdy. If you like practicing yoga at home, you should pick up a couple of wooden blocks for yourself.
Wooden yoga blocks are very durable but they are also slightly pricey. Another downside is that they can be a little slippery if you touch them with sweaty hands.
We will also not recommend them if you have hardwood floors because they may slide around and damage your floor.
We recommend the wooden yoga block if you want to buy a yoga block made of wood for your practice.
If you are looking for something that is lighter than wood but sturdier than foam, then cork yoga blocks are a perfect choice.
They are heavier than your foam blocks but softer than wood. Plus, they are eco-friendly.
The disadvantage of cork yoga blocks is that they absorb sweat and moisture. This makes them smelly and crumbly as they wear out over time.
You will, therefore, need to clean your cork blocks regularly. Cork blocks are also not as durable as wooden yoga blocks.
If you are looking for a cork block, we recommend the cork yoga block.
Can you do yoga without yoga blocks? Of course, you can. Yet, yoga blocks are amazing because they allow you to practice yoga in a safer and more beneficial way.
Practicing yoga means a lot of twisting, bending, and folding while doing asanas.
You can, therefore, use yoga blocks in several ways, but the purpose boils down to three things – strengthening, lengthening, and support.
Yoga blocks are excellent for building strength throughout the body. A lot of yoga poses help you improve strength, but you may not reap the full benefits if you do not achieve proper alignment and form.
A yoga block can help you get into proper alignment and use the right muscles to perfect the pose.
It can also be used for extra support in challenging asanas to give you more control over the pose, helping you build strength effectively.
A Yoga block can be used to correct your alignment and deepen the stretch you are in.
If you feel you are struggling to stay in a certain pose, it could be because you are not in proper alignment.
Without the right alignment, you will not get the full benefit of the pose. By using a yoga block, you will prevent overstraining, achieve proper alignment, and become more flexible over time.
Yoga can be restorative. However, if you are not flexible enough, many poses may prove strenuous and ineffective.
A yoga block can give you the support you need to give necessary support required to get the pose right and relax tight muscles.
If you want to choose the right Yoga block for you, consider the following criteria:
Traditionally, yoga blocks have always been rectangular. The rectangular shape allows them to be placed in three different ways giving you three different heights.
The traditional size of a yoga block is 9x6x4 inches, but there are other sizes available too, such as 9x6x3 inches, 9x6x3.5 inches, and so on.
Pick a size that feels comfortable for you.
Yoga blocks are available in different materials, such as foam, wood, and cork.
If you are looking for something lightweight, opt for foam or cork.
Wood blocks are very durable, although they can be heavy.
How many Yoga blocks do you need? Some poses can be done with one block, while some may need two.
We recommend that you get two yoga blocks, so you should set your budget accordingly.
Where do you practice Yoga? If you practice at home, you need not worry about weight.
So, it is a good idea to invest in wood blocks because they are durable and last a long time.
However, if you go to a gym or yoga studio, you may consider foam or cork blocks because they are lightweight and easy to carry.
Now that you have all this information, we hope it will help you pick the right yoga block for you.