There are many tools that are specifically designed to help you in your yoga practice, one of those being yoga blocks. You may be wondering if you need a yoga block to practice yoga and if so, how many you might need.
So do you need one, two or more yoga blocks? Yoga blocks can help beginner yogis find proper alignment in their poses and assist advanced yogis in deepening their stretches, but you should not need more than two yoga blocks for your yoga practice unless you want a set in a different material.
Everyone from beginners to yoga instructors can benefit from adding a yoga block to their practice. Read on to find out everything you need to know about yoga blocks.
How to Use Yoga Blocks
Whether you are just beginning your yoga practice or you are a yoga veteran, you can benefit from using yoga blocks. You should not need more than two yoga blocks whatever your reasons are for purchasing them.
But how are you supposed to use yoga blocks during your practice?
As a beginner, your yoga blocks can give you stability in your poses, and help you maintain your balance. Maybe you are not able to reach the floor or touch your toes yet. Yoga blocks provide 3 different heights so you can get the full benefit of the poses even if you are not quite that flexible yet.
Someone who has been practicing yoga for years can use yoga blocks to increase the difficulty of certain poses. This can help in developing a stronger core and more flexibility. The yoga block is not considered a crutch for beginners, but a useful tool no matter how long you have been practicing yoga.
Using Yoga Blocks for Different Poses
How exactly do you put your yoga blocks to good use once you have purchased them? Here is a list of a few examples of how beginner and advanced yogis might use them in their practice. Source (1). Source (2).
- A beginner can use two yoga blocks for a forward fold. If you are unable to reach the floor in your forward fold, reach down and use your yoga blocks for stability instead. You can use them in the longest way and work your way down as you gain flexibility.
- If you need more difficulty with your yoga bicycles, try adding a yoga block. Instead of simply alternating left elbow to right knee and vice versa, hold a yoga block as you switch from side to side.
- If you are unable to sit in Hero Pose comfortably, use a yoga block. Sit on the yoga block and add a blanket under your knees. This should keep your legs from falling asleep or tingling.
- Use a yoga block to help keep proper form when transitioning. When going from downward dog to a lunge or another pose, have a yoga block on the mat as an obstacle to avoid. This will help keep your hips lifted.
- Use a yoga block to help with balance. A yoga block will keep you grounded in a side angle pose or help you conquer your fear of the crow pose.
Yoga blocks can be very versatile. Try using them if you need help with balance, flexibility, or increasing the difficulty level.
How to Choose Your Yoga Blocks
Yoga blocks come in a few different sizes and materials. It is important to choose a material and size that will most benefit your practice. Yoga blocks offer three different heights, whichever you choose. They can usually be found in 4x6x9 or 3x6x9. This allows you three different heights as you progress in your practice.
Here is a list of materials most commonly used, and what kind of practice they are best for.
- The original yoga blocks were fashioned from wood. They are definitely the most durable material. If you would like a more eco-friendly wooden yoga block, bamboo is an option.
While durable, wooden yoga blocks are not very comfortable. These will not benefit restorative yoga. Wooden yoga blocks are easy to clean and have a pleasant aesthetic. Keep in mind they do become slippery easily.
- Foam yoga blocks are a great option for beginners. They are an inexpensive option and will work for any type of yoga you are practicing, although they are less stable for poses that require stability.
A foam yoga block is light-weight and versatile. If you mainly practice restorative yoga or have just started your yoga journey, this will be the best option for you.
- Cork yoga blocks are the best of both worlds. Cork yoga blocks are durable and lightweight and are not prone to slipping. They are great for poses that require stability, but may not be very comfortable to sit or lay on.
Due to their porous material, they can be difficult to keep clean. Over time, your cork yoga block may begin to fall apart.
My Recommended Yoga Blocks
Soft Non-Slip Yoga Blocks – These yoga blocks come in a set of 2 and they are durable, lightweight, and non-slip. Affordable and helpful.
Use Your Yoga Block as a Tool, Not a Crutch
Yoga blocks are great for helping with balance, but keep in tune with your body. Once you feel you no longer need your yoga block to feel stable in your poses, set it aside. Remember not to put all your weight into the block either. Your weight needs to be evenly distributed to prevent injury.
If you do overdo your practice one day, have a different injury, or it’s been a while and you have lost some of your flexibility, don’t be afraid to use the yoga block again. It doesn’t mean you are moving backward in your practice.
The most important thing is to pay attention to your body. If you are unable to breathe properly in your pose, try adding a block. Find the shortest size that allows you to do the pose properly and work your way down.
Keep Your Yoga Block Clean
Like all exercise equipment, yoga blocks need regular cleaning to keep them free of bacteria and in good condition. If you are unsure of how to clean your yoga block, check with the manufacturer.
Cleaning your yoga block will depend on the type of material. Wood yoga blocks are the simplest to care for. Wipe down with a damp, soapy rag and let it dry.
For a cork yoga block, wipe the surface with a damp rag and make sure it dries completely. If your cork yoga block becomes stained, try adding vinegar, soap, or soda water to the water for your rag. The most important thing to remember is to not use any chemicals on your cork yoga block. This could cause it to deteriorate before its time.
Similar to the wood yoga block, use a wet rag with dish soap to clean your foam block. You can also use vinegar and soda water to remove stains on your foam yoga block. You can also toss a foam yoga block in with your laundry.
I personally use and recommend this organic yoga mat and prop cleaner to clean your equipment.
Not Ready to Buy a Yoga Block Yet?
If you are not sure yoga is for you and you are not ready to purchase yoga blocks, you can get creative with common household items to help with your stability and height in poses. Maybe you are practicing a minimalist lifestyle and do not want to purchase anything unnecessary. You might want to try some of these items first. Source.
- Use a book. Use a thick and sturdy book in place of a yoga block. The last few Harry Potter books are all probably the approximate size of a yoga block. It might be best to use a book against the wall or on a non-slip yoga mat to prevent injury.
- For seated or supine poses try a blanket. Use a folded blanket or rolled-up towel to make your seated poses more comfortable. Sometimes I use a rolled-up towel under my neck or knees when I am in a pose that requires me to lay on my back.
- Maybe you have extra wood left over from a home project. Cut it to the best size for you and sand it down.
Take a look around your house and see what you already have. Just be sure to use something strong and stable to prevent injury.
Yoga blocks can be a valuable tool for your practice. They are incredibly useful to beginner yogis and can challenge the most advanced yogi to keep improving their yoga practice. Yoga blocks can improve stability and add height to your yoga poses when needed. They can also help deepen your stretches and strengthen your core.
Unless you are wanting yoga blocks in multiple materials, two yoga blocks should be sufficient no matter what type of yoga you practice. Foam yoga blocks are ideal for beginners and restorative yoga while cork and woodblocks provide strength and stability. Keep your yoga blocks clean and cared for to ensure they last as long as possible. Replace your yoga blocks once they begin to deteriorate or lose their shape. Yoga blocks are a tool to help your yoga, not a crutch to lean on. Listen to your body and your breath and you will be able to properly utilize yoga blocks.