Top Tips for Using Blocks in your Yoga Practice

Posted by Hom Yoga on

By Abbie Plummer

Have you ever been to a yoga class where the teacher advises everyone to grab a few blocks before class begins? And then you think to yourself… “I don’t need blocks, I’m not a beginner!” Well guess what? Regardless of where you are in your practice, blocks are amazing tools that can be utilised by beginners and advanced practitioners alike. When used with awareness, blocks can help us to find suitable, correct alignment in our asanas, as well as used to help us deepen a pose.

Here are my three favourite ways to use blocks in my yoga practice.

1. Restorative supta baddha konasana (reclined cobbler): Lay two blocks on the mat in a capital letter ‘T’ shape. The vertical block will rest in between your shoulder blades, and the horizontal block will rest under your head. If you would like a deeper backbend, take the vertical block to a height higher than the horizontal block. Once you have laid down on to your blocks, bring the soles of your feet together, and let your knees fall open. This is a beautiful and gentle way to start to open up the chest, spine, hips, and groin. Hold for 2 to 5 minutes.

2. Tiger curls with blocks: Take your blocks to their lowest height and set yourself up in a regular down dog with the blocks underneath the hands. Lift your right leg up, and then pull the knee into the chest, hollow the belly and round the spine. Either stay here or try to hover your foot a few centimeters off the mat in between the blocks. Repeat 2-3 times and then, as you strive to keep your hands fully grounded on your blocks, step your foot through in between your hands, aiming to land heel to arch. (Repeat on the left side) Using blocks in your tiger curls will give you the feeling of really engaging the core as you step the foot through. Eventually in our yoga practice, we want to be able to keep the hands firmly planted every time we step our foot in between our hands.

3. Supporting the body in trikonasana (triangle): From warrior two pose, straighten your right leg and take a slightly shorter stance. Set your block to the medium height on the outside edge of your right foot. Start to reach your right arm forward as you send the hips back, and then let your right fingertips rest lightly on the block. Feel the length in the spine, and the engagement of the core. Maybe try to hover your fingers a few inches off the blocks, and feel how much the legs and belly have to work in this pose. Hold for 5 breaths. (Repeat left on the other side.)

I have been practicing yoga for almost a decade and I still use blocks in almost every practice. I hope these tips help you to let go of the notion that using blocks is a sign of weakness, and instead discover the new places your body can go when you bring props into the mix.

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