I’m a newbie yogini. Since taking my first class a year and a half ago, I also took about six months off from the mat to heal from surgery and unexpected complications while healing.
So, I’m not very flexible.
I sit at a computer for most of the day and my hamstrings are incredibly tight. I have trouble getting enough extension to reach the floor in a forward bend and I really want to make sure my posture is correct in pigeon pose.
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I use yoga blocks.
These rectangular-shaped foam supports often get a bad rap. People think they are for beginners only. Or, that if you use them you’re not “good at yoga.” Well, if there is one thing I’ve learned from my time on the mat, you’re neither good nor bad. You’re always in a state of practice and improving. Period.
So, needless to say, I love my yoga blocks. Here are a few reasons I use them in classes, have them at home and tuck them in my bag for sessions at local parks.
1. Yoga blocks improve posture. My arms are a little short, so trying to stay stable and in the correct form for a runner’s lunge is difficult. I often put both hands on blocks so I can then focus on my alignment and move into poses like warrior and pigeon with ease.
2. Yoga blocks help me see improvement. Since you can turn the blocks on their sides, upright or flat, they give your three heights to work from. When working through a practice, I often find myself adjusting the blocks, so I can stretch further, especially in a forward fold.
3. Yoga blocks ease tension. Is child’s pose more uncomfortable than resting for you? Try tucking a yoga block under your bottom, then ease back. You can reduce tension on your low back and focus on giving your upper body and arms a good stretch.
4. Yoga blocks stabilize my poses. I can’t reach the floor in a triangle pose, so I place a yoga block under my hand near the floor and use it to make me feel sturdy. Then I can focus on the alignment of my arms and holding the pose for a steady, beneficial stretch.
5. Yoga blocks assist in resting poses. Sometimes you just want to hold a pose for several minutes to unwind and relax. Try using a yoga block in a supported bridge pose so you can focus on feeling the stretch and breathing into the pose.
Next time you go to yoga class, ask your instructor how to properly use yoga blocks to improve your practice. You might just be surprised at your new level of confidence and range of movement with these accessories by your side.
Do you use already yoga blocks? How do they benefit you in your practice?
Until next time,
Note: This post was updated on April 23, 2018.