How to Use Blocks to Enhance Your Yoga Poses
Life today is like a vast and deep ocean. Sometimes it appears good-natured as it glistens beneath the sun. Yet, it is not always calm and smooth-sailing. More often than not, disruptions arise like the roaring waves that break on the rocky shore. Fighters say we have to fight. But, yogis suggest that we slow down. Whatever the circumstances are, we have to keep going, survive, and stay afloat.
Whether it is the old normal or the new normal, we always find ourselves wanting to relax. Yoga has always been one of the go-to practices to reconnect with our bodies and minds. With its positive impact on our health and wellness, yoga adapts to digital health. Physical and virtual yoga classes are now available. With that, more people are enticed to enroll and learn more about it.
Now that we are in the midst of a pandemic, we are forced to reckon with our heightened emotions and struggles. Everything seems different, but we continue to move in a fast-paced environment. Despite all these, we unconsciously seek alternative paths to resilience and quietness. In this article, we will discuss how props like blocks and mats can enhance our yoga poses.
The Advantages of Using Yoga Blocks in Your Practice
Having added stability is a good idea wherever you are in your yoga session. From beginners to seasoned practitioners, yoga blocks can make the practice easier. It can help you transition from basic to advanced poses and movements. With that, your posture is not compromised when attempting a more difficult pose. It also increases your flexibility and confidence. Here are the things you can get from using yoga blocks.
Build Upper-Body Strength
With yoga blocks, doing poses for upper body strength is easier. Shoulder press, superman, chest press, and tricep push-ups are some common examples.
Support Weak Wrists
Yoga blocks and mats provide an extra cushion for your arms when doing upside-down poses. Wedges made of foam or cork can soften the angle of extension. More blocks can support your wrists when doing push-ups. They can keep your wrists in a neutral position while doing planks and other poses.
Practice Correct Alignment
Yoga blocks can help you do advanced poses like the forearm stand with correct posture. They help you have a better engagement of the abs and lower body.
Allow You to Get Deeper into Poses
Yoga blocks can help you do more advanced poses. You can do active standing poses while bouncing several times in your legs. You can even rock yourself back and forth, if possible. Do it repeatedly, and you will notice your body going deeper and becoming stronger.
Yoga Poses Using Yoga Blocks 1: Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
The Reclined Bound Angle Pose or Supta Baddha Konasana is a common way to start and finish a yoga session. It is also referred to as the Reclined Butterfly. As a good starter, it is intense enough to increase the awareness of your body and improve breathing. As a cool-down method, it is a gentle way to ease and end your long-day session. This pose varies from Yin to Restorative to Vinyasa Flow.
Generally, the Reclined Bound Angle Pose can make a gentle expanse for the groin and inner hips. These body parts are often neglected when doing strenuous poses and practices. Pregnant women are encouraged to do it to strengthen their pelvic region. Moreover, it is an excellent method for reducing stress, insomnia, and depression.
If you want to incorporate this into your usual practice, here are the basic steps to do it:
Yoga blocks can help you enhance this yoga pose. It can give you support when you hang your legs in space. While doing it, you may feel a pulling sensation in the inner thighs, groin, and hips. With that, it provides extra cushion to your body and prevents overstretching. The blocks beneath the legs give gentle stretch to the inner thighs and hips. As a result, blocks allow you to release these body parts easily.
Yoga Pose Using Yoga Blocks 2: Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
The Fish Pose or Matsyasana is a back-bending pose that opens the throat, abdomen, and chest. As the opposite of Shoulderstand, it eases the pressure on the neck and spine. The lotus position is the traditional variation that fits experienced practitioners best. But, it also has other positions that match with different practitioner levels.
Given all these, Fish Pose is known to strengthen the upper back muscles and the nape. As such, it increases spinal flexibility and improves posture. Moreover, it improves breathing and stimulates the abdomen. It also increases energy and reduces stress and anxiety. Here is how to do the Fish Pose.
The best yoga blocks play a pivotal role in the Fish Pose. It gives extra support to the upper body and helps expand the upper torso and rib cage. Given this, it opens the throat, abdomen, and chest and deepens breathing.
Yoga Pose Using Yoga Blocks 3: Half-Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)
The Half-Moon Pose or Ardha Chandrasana involves different elements. It strengthens your leg muscles, balance, and flexibility. Given this, it can give a gentle stretch to the hamstring muscles and groin. Like the mild inversion poses, it reduces stress, anxiety, and fatigue. It can also relieve constipation and lower back pain. Here are the steps in doing this pose.
Yoga blocks can shorten the distance between your hand and the supporting surface. It will be easier to lift your torso, expand your chest, and avoid collapsing into the sides. Also, blocks provide extra support for your balance. It can help in strengthening your hips, ankles, knees, and legs. As such, you can enjoy this pose and have increased mental focus.
Looking for yoga props that are 100% recyclable, renewable, biodegradable? Check out cork yoga mats and blocks at corqyoga.com
Yoga Pose using Yoga Blocks 4: Hero’s Pose (Virasana)
The Hero Pose, also known as Virasana, is a posture similar to the Thunderbolt Pose. It is a classical posture wherein the buttocks are on the floor while the heels are alongside the hips. Although it can be difficult, it helps you strengthen the thighs, legs, and knees. The steps below show how to do it properly.
Yoga blocks are used to wedge between your thighs and calves. It reduces knee stress and discomfort when you lift your hips above knee level. Hence, it is easier to do this pose and increase the strength and flexibility of your lower body.
Yoga Pose using Yoga Blocks 5: Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
The Triangle Pose, also referred to as Trikonasana, is a standing yoga pose. It aims to tone and strengthen your legs, reduce stress levels, and increase stability. With your legs and feet apart and your body leaning sideways, you create a triangular shape. It tones and strengthens your lower body and improves metabolism. Like other yoga poses, it reduces anxiety, improves fertility, and reduces flat-feet problems.
It can be done better using yoga blocks. By placing a hand on the block, the strained feeling in your legs and upper torso is reduced. It further expands your triangle pose, improves your breathing, and stimulates your energy.
Yoga Pose using Yoga Blocks 6: Forearm Balance (Pincha Mayurasana)
The forearm balance has a striking resemblance to the Handstand. It is one of the advanced poses used by practitioners to prepare for backbends and arm balances. It improves your balance and strengthens your arms, shoulders, core, and back. It also improves the blood flow to your head, helping to relieve stress and anxiety. Other advantages involve the overcoming of fear of falling. In the yoga tradition, this pose can open the Ajna or the third eye chakra. It enhances psychic abilities like clairvoyance and remote viewing. To do this, you need two blocks if you have broad shoulders. Place them next to the ones you have already set up. Note that you should place the second block in a vertical position.
The yoga block keeps your hands within the width of your shoulders. Since the hands and elbows may move, the yoga blocks stabilize them to maintain your posture. Moreover, they ensure correct alignment and support to prevent ego-related injuries.
Reasons Why Cork Yoga Blocks Are Perfect for Your Practice
Cork yoga blocks are a perfect choice for yoga practitioners. It is made up of properties that make it the best block for yoga sessions. Here are the reasons why you should choose cork yoga blocks:
Cork's honeycomb structure provides greater friction and grip. As such, yogis avoid slipping on the block. Even if it gets wet with water and sweat, it remains grippy.
Resilient & Flexible
Cork yoga blocks are flexible due to their moisture resistance. Its properties can repel liquids to maintain their original shape.
Easy to Clean
Since a yoga block has greater friction and resistance to moisture, wiping off dirt and sweat is easier. Also, it is free from chemicals and has antimicrobial properties.
Practitioners must know that cork yoga blocks and mats have antimicrobial properties. As such, it never smells even after it is dripping with sweat. Its hypoallergenic properties are a good fit for those with allergies.
Since cork blocks are 100% biodegradable, no tree is being cut down. Even the waste is recyclable.
Cushion prevents practitioners from getting injured. Cork blocks are 50% air. Hence, there are added cushions that provide more comfort and protection.
Get Your Yoga Blocks From Corqyoga
Yoga blocks are an essential tool when doing yoga. It can provide benefits and assistance to make your yoga experience extra fulfilling and relaxing.
If you wish to know more about the cork yoga mat and its benefits, click this link. You can also learn how to use yoga blocks. For further questions, reach out and seek assistance from Corqyoga.
FAQs about Yoga Blocks to Enhance Your Yoga Poses
What size of yoga blocks is recommended to enhance my yoga poses?
Yoga blocks will depend on your flexibility and the size of your hands. The most common yoga block size is 4X6X9 inches. Fewer sources suggest using those with dimensions of 9X4.5X3 inches.
What can I use instead of yoga blocks?
If you don’t have yoga blocks, you can use firm pillows. Folded blankets and towels are also good substitutes.
Can I make a yoga block at home? How?
You can make DIY yoga blocks using recycled materials. It is good if you have a box with a dimension of 9X4X7, newspaper, foam, cardboard, and duct tape. Kindly check this link for a step-by-step process.