8 effective ways to use yoga blocks: From beginner to advanced techniques

There’s a big gap between doing yoga and doing it right.

The difference lies in the tools.

Using yoga blocks isn’t about compensating for a lack of flexibility.

It’s about enhancing your practice and deepening your poses.

Whether you’re a beginner finding your balance, or an advanced yogi seeking to refine your practice, yoga blocks have a role to play.

And savvy yogis know there are certain techniques that make all the difference.

Here are some effective ways to use yoga blocks, from beginner to advanced techniques, to get the most out of your practice.

1) Starting blocks

Delving into the world of yoga can feel overwhelming for beginners.

Suddenly, you’re confronted with all these foreign sounding poses, like Downward Dog or Warrior II.

And navigating these can be tough, especially when you’re trying to find your balance or reach that bit further.

Enter the humble yoga block.

Yoga blocks are a beginner’s best friend.

They act as an extension of your arms, helping you reach the ground in poses where your flexibility doesn’t quite allow it yet.

Think of it like a bridge.

It’s not about cheating or making things easier – it’s about making the poses achievable while still maintaining correct alignment.

So, if you’re a newbie and struggling with those tough stretches or balance poses, grab a yoga block.

It’s a stepping stone to achieving that perfect pose.

2) Personal touch

I’ll be the first to admit, I used to be a bit skeptical about using yoga blocks.

In my early days of practicing yoga, I had this notion that using blocks was somehow an admission of weakness.

That it meant I was not “good” at yoga.

But as I started to explore more challenging poses, such as Half Moon or Extended Triangle, I realized that my body wasn’t quite ready to take them on fully.

My hamstrings were too tight, my balance was shaky, and I was constantly straining to reach the ground.

That’s when I decided to give yoga blocks a try. And boy, did it make a difference!

The blocks gave me the extra inches I needed to comfortably reach the ground without straining my muscles.

They helped me maintain proper alignment and balance, which made my practice safer and more effective.

In fact, using the blocks actually helped me progress faster in my practice.

Because instead of struggling and straining, I was able to focus on deepening my poses and improving my flexibility.

So don’t shy away from using yoga blocks.

They’re not a sign of weakness, but a tool for progression.

3) Beyond flexibility

Yoga blocks aren’t just about making up for lack of flexibility.

They’re a versatile tool that can enhance your practice in a multitude of ways.

For instance, you might not realize that yoga blocks can be an integral part of strength training in yoga.

Yes, you heard it right – strength training!

When used correctly, yoga blocks can add resistance and challenge to your poses, helping you build strength in specific muscle groups.

Take the Bridge pose for example.

Placing a block between your thighs requires you to actively engage your inner thighs and core to keep the block in place, intensifying the pose and building strength.

4) Rest and restore

When it comes to yoga, it’s not all about the hustle and bustle of active poses.

There’s a lot to be said for the quieter, restorative side of the practice.

Restorative yoga is about slowing down and opening your body through passive stretching.

And this is where yoga blocks can really shine.

Blocks can be used as a support in restorative poses, helping you maintain a gentle stretch without straining.

They allow you to relax into the pose, releasing tension and promoting relaxation.

For instance, in a Supported Fish pose, placing a block under your thoracic spine can help open up your chest and shoulders, promoting better breathing and relieving stress.

5) Embracing the journey

Yoga is more than a physical practice. It’s a journey of self-discovery and acceptance.

We all have our own unique bodies with different strengths and limitations.

And that’s okay.

It’s not about achieving the perfect pose, it’s about embracing where you are in your journey.

Yoga blocks can help you do just that.

They’re not there to “fix” anything or make up for any perceived shortcomings.

They’re there to support you, wherever you are in your practice.

When you use a block, you’re not only supporting your body, but also acknowledging your own journey.

You’re saying, “This is where I am today, and that’s okay.”

So let’s embrace our yoga blocks not as crutches, but as companions on this beautiful yoga journey.

Because at the end of the day, it’s not about touching your toes, it’s about what you learn on the way down.

6) Learning to let go

There was a time in my practice when I became fixated on mastering the Wheel pose.

It’s a challenging backbend, and I wanted to do it unassisted.

Despite my best efforts, I just couldn’t do it without compromising my form or straining my back.

It was frustrating and disheartening.

That’s when I decided to bring a yoga block into the equation.

Placing it under my hands, I dipped into the Wheel pose.

And for the first time, I felt secure.

My form was correct, and there was no discomfort in my back.

Did it mean I’d completely nailed the pose?

Not exactly.

But it did mean that I was listening to my body and giving it what it needed.

And that, to me, felt like a bigger accomplishment.

7) Elevate your practice

Contrary to popular belief, yoga blocks aren’t just for beginners.

Even seasoned yogis can benefit from incorporating them into their practice.

Blocks can be used to explore advanced variations of poses.

They provide a stable platform that allows you to safely take your practice to new heights.

For instance, in poses like Crow or Handstand, having a block under your hands or feet can give you that extra lift off the ground, making it easier to lift into the pose.

So whether you’re a seasoned yogi looking to deepen your practice, or a beginner finding your footing, don’t underestimate the power of yoga blocks.

They can truly elevate your practice, taking it from good to great.

8) Practice mindfully

The most important thing to remember when using yoga blocks is to practice mindfully.

Yoga is about connecting with your body and listening to what it needs.

So when you use a block, make sure it’s because your body needs that support, not because you’re forcing yourself into a pose that’s not right for you at this time.

Use the blocks as tools to enhance your practice, not to push past your limits.

They’re there to support you, help you maintain proper alignment, and promote safe practice.

Remember, yoga isn’t about how deep you can go into a pose.

It’s about maintaining balance, promoting flexibility, building strength, and practicing mindfulness.

And that’s where yoga blocks shine.

It’s all about support

The nuances of yoga practice often come down to the simple concept of support.

One such support system in yoga is the humble yoga block.

These seemingly simple tools play a crucial role in enhancing your practice, whether you’re a beginner finding your footing or an advanced yogi pushing your boundaries.

With yoga blocks, it’s not just about reaching the ground or achieving a pose.

It’s about maintaining alignment, building strength, promoting flexibility, and most importantly, practicing mindfully.

So whether you’re using them to bridge the gap in your flexibility, add resistance to your poses, explore advanced variations, or simply rest and restore, remember this: Yoga blocks are there to support you on your journey.

As the acclaimed yoga teacher B.K.S. Iyengar once said, “Yoga is a light, which once lit will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter your flame.”

Leo Warner

Leo Warner

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