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How to Use Yoga Blocks | Beginner to Advanced

Yoga seems like a simple enough exercise to pick up. While you just need the proper attire and a yoga mat to get started with the fundamentals, you can take your regimen to the next level by investing in a sturdy yoga block.

What are Yoga Blocks?

A yoga block is often made from cork, wood, bamboo, or foam. It typically functions as an extension of the arms, but depending on the pose you want to attain, you can also use it to support your hips, head, and back. 

How Do You Use a Yoga Block?

A yoga block is ultimately a tool designed to help you reach certain poses or to raise the difficulty of more rudimentary stretches. In some cases, they make the stretch safer to perform, so you can feel more confident even if you only practice yoga at home.

You can use a yoga block for basic stretches. However, it's also a great way to make advanced yoga poses easier. That's why we love to use yoga blocks when warming up before yoga. 

3 Ways to Use Yoga Blocks for Beginners

The way you’ll use a yoga block ultimately comes down to the specific pose you want to do. So let’s take a look at some of the more basic poses recommended for beginners and how you can take them to the next level via a yoga block.

1. Child’s Pose

For the Child’s Pose, you’ll want to place two yoga blocks underneath each elbow. This prevents you from having to stretch all the way down to the ground, which is a major advantage especially for older individuals and people with mobility issues.

2. Warrior III

For Warrior III, the blocks will function as an extension of your arms. In the event you can’t bend all the way down to the floor, you can merely grip onto the blocks to gain greater support. 

3. Downward Facing Dog

Downard Dog is one of the most basic yoga poses, but you may have trouble with it if you’re starting out. As you bend your body into a V-shape toward the ground, you can place two yoga blocks under each hand so that they’re not directly on the floor. 

3 Ways to Use Yoga Blocks for Intermediates

As you advance to more difficult poses, the use of yoga blocks will become even more important as you may need to practice on them first to fully grasp the full extent of the stretch.

1. Bridge Pose

A yoga block with the Bridge Pose can help immensely with alleviating back pain. When moving into this position, place the block under your back to help your abdomen attain greater height. 

2. Extended Side Angle

To gain greater stability, have the arm facing the floor support a yoga block. It will provide you with better balance so there’s a reduced risk of falling.

3. Reclined Hero’s Pose

For the Reclined Hero’s Pose, you’ll bend at your elbows to come down onto your forearms. Beginners to this position may want to sit on a yoga block as it will prevent them from going down further than what’s comfortable. 

4 Ways to Use Yoga Blocks (Advanced)

For advanced poses, yoga blocks will be critical in the early stages so that you don’t sprain or hurt something in the middle of an exercise.

1. Camel Pose

Camel Pose is a critical component of restorative yoga. As you start, place yoga blocks under your hands, which will be positioned behind your back. You may need to put blocks under those initial blocks so that they reach all the way to the floor without you spraining yourself. 

2. Supine Spinal Twist

The Supine Spinal Twist becomes more accessible with a block between your knees. It places less stress on your spine so that you can twist to the side without as much worry.

3. Pigeon Pose

Many people struggle with Pigeon Pose because their hips are too far off the ground. A block underneath that area allows you to stay flat so your body can relax. 

4. Front Splits

For Front Splits, place a yoga block under each hand. This allows you to stretch in front of yourself without needing to go down as far. 


References:

Shiffer, Emily. “Why There's No Shame in Using Yoga Blocks to Make Your Practice Better.” Parade, 27 Sep. 2021. https://parade.com/930632/emilyshiffer/how-to-use-yoga-blocks/


Thielen, Stephanie. “How to Use Blocks to Enhance Your Yoga Poses.” Ace Fitness, 5 Sep. 2018. https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/7094/how-to-use-blocks-to-enhance-your-yoga-poses/