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How to Use a Yoga Block

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Old 05-17-2019, 05:06 PM
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Default How to Use a Yoga Block

Yoga blocks are a rectangular prop that can help you enhance your yoga practice. Whether you’re new to yoga or have years of experience, using a block helps with balance, posture, and intensifying stretches. Try using the block with different poses to find your best fit!


Supporting Balance
  1. Place the block in front of your feet for a Standing Forward Fold. Standing with your ankles and knees aligned your hips, slowly fold your body from the hip joints, bending your knees slightly. Instead of reaching to touch the floor, put your hands on the block.[1]
    • Using this modification allows your body to relax more and puts less strain on your hamstrings.[2]
  2. Position the block under your hand for stability in Triangle Pose. Keep your feet wide, making the distance between them about the length of your leg. Stretch your arms to your sides so they are parallel with the ground. Turn the toes of your the foot closest to the front of the room 45 to 90 degrees to face the front of your mat. Place your back hand on your hip and ease your front hand down the shin and then onto the block.[3]
    • The block reduces the risk of over-extending hamstrings and joints while opening the chest.[4]
    • Avoid locking your knees in this position.[5]
  3. Rest your head on the block during a Wide-Legged Forward Bend. Standing with your feet just wider than your hips, place the block in front of you on the floor. Bend from the hips toward the floor, balancing your head on the yoga block to avoid overextending or straining.[6]
  4. Use the block to “elevate the floor” in any standing pose. When in a yoga pose that requires you to both stand and stretch toward the ground, the block adds height to the floor so that you can find your balance and settle into the posture.[7]
    • Balancing is a key part of practicing yoga that challenges beginners and experts alike. Even if you have practiced yoga before, poses may feel different from day to day, so feel free to keep a block nearby for days when you need it![8]
Enhancing Posture and Form
  1. Place the block between your thighs in Downward Facing Dog. Stand with your feet under your hips and use your thigh muscles to secure and hold the yoga block between your legs. Fold your body forward at the hips, bending your knees slightly, and place your hands on the ground in front of you, walking them forward slightly to balance your weight. Balance on your hands and knees with your hips reaching upward.[9]
    • The block keeps your leg muscles active in this pose and keeps a strong alignment from head to toe.[10]
  2. Hold the block between your thighs in Bridge Pose. Lie on your back and align your legs in a straight line with your hips. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground. Place the block between your thighs. With arms to the side, press into your elbows and shoulders to lift up your back and hips toward the ceiling. Bring your hands together underneath of your back and move shoulder blades closer together on the mat.[11]
    • Instead of allowing your legs and knees to move apart, the block to ensure that you engage your legs. [12] Proper alignment reduces the chances that an injury would occur during your practice.[13]
  3. Sit on the edge of the block for Sukhasana. Also known as “Easy Seated Pose,” this position can be uncomfortable if you experience tightness in your hips. With the block at its lowest height on the floor, sit on the edge. Bend the knees and bring the ankles closer to the body. Cross one ankle over the other and open your knees to rest naturally to each side.
    • Laying the block to its lowest point and sitting on it supports the hips, back, and knees.[14]
    • Additional blocks can be used to support the knees in this position.[15]
  4. Use the block to support your spine and knees in Hero’s Pose. Kneel on your mat with your knees in line with your hips. Put the block between your calves and sit on top of the block. Allow hands to rest on the thighs.[16]
    • Keep the core and spine long and strong. Using the block supports this posture by lifting the hips and lessening pressure on the knees.[17]
Intensifying and Deepening Poses
  1. Position the block under your pelvis in Viparita Karani. While lying on your back, place the block under your pelvis. Raise your legs in the air so that they are aligned straight above the block. This reduces lower back pain and pressure while supporting the hips.[18]
    • Inverting your normal posture in this pose encourages calmness in the body.[19]
  2. Use the block between your shoulder blades in Reclined Hero Pose. Kneeling with your feet slightly wider than hip-width, place the block in the space between your feet. Use your hands to help you lie back, with your block supporting your upper back.[20] Rest your arms on the ground beside you.[21]
    • The block opens the chest to encourage breathing and relax the body. Breathing deeply during yoga is important to help the body perform at its optimal level.[22]
  3. Place the block under the elbows in Frog Pose. With hands and knees on the ground, position your elbows onto the block. Widen your knees and bring your hips closer to the ground, aligning ankles with knees.[23] The block helps to open and stretch the hips and groin area.
    • Use separate blocks for the elbows for added comfort.[24]
  4. Put a block underneath your ankles in Elevated ****erfly Pose. Sit on the floor and place the soles of the feet together. Move your feet closer to your body and let the knees lower toward the floor. Elevate the ankles onto the block and allow the back to fold forward over the ankles.[25]
    • Using the block helps increase flexibility in the hips without straining the IT bands.[26]
    • Pay attention to your body’s signals to avoid overstretching![27]
  5. Use two blocks under your back and neck in Fish Pose. Sit in the middle of the mat, leaving enough behind you space to lie down. Place one block vertically where your shoulder blades and the other horizontally where your head will be. With your legs stretched out in front of you, lean back to position yourself onto the blocks and allow your arms to fall to the sides and rest on the mat.[28]
    • Creating this space in your chest allows you to relax more by breathing deeply.[29]
  • When practicing yoga, avoid poses that hurt your body. Be aware of how your body feels and talk with a specialist such as a doctor or yoga instructor about your questions or concerns.[30]
Ref 1: https://studiogrowth.com/the-ultimate-guide-on-the-health-benefits-of-yoga/

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