What are yoga blocks used for?

 Woman doing a yoga pose next to some yoga blocks

Yoga blocks are versatile tools that provide support, stability, and assistance during yoga poses. They offer modifications and variations that accommodate different body types, flexibility levels, and yoga practitioners' needs. Let’s delve into the specific uses of yoga blocks and highlight their advantages in enhancing the yoga experience.

Support and Stability

Yoga blocks are primarily used to provide support and stability during yoga poses. They serve as extensions of the arms, hands, or legs, allowing practitioners to maintain proper alignment and stability when their flexibility or strength is limited. By placing a yoga block under the hands, feet, or hips, individuals can achieve a more comfortable and stable foundation, enabling them to explore poses with confidence.

Alignment and Extension

Yoga blocks are valuable tools for achieving proper alignment in yoga poses. They assist in aligning the body by providing height and extension. For instance, when reaching for the floor in a standing forward bend (Uttanasana), individuals with tight hamstrings can place yoga blocks in front of them at varying heights to bring the floor closer and maintain a straight back. This promotes proper form and prevents strain or injury.

Modifications and Variations

Yoga blocks offer modifications and variations to make poses accessible to practitioners with different abilities and body proportions. They can be used to decrease the intensity of a pose by reducing the range of motion or providing support. Conversely, they can increase the challenge by adding height or requiring greater strength and flexibility. Yoga blocks facilitate a gradual progression and enable practitioners to adapt poses to their individual needs.

Deepening Stretches and Opening the Body

Yoga blocks can aid in deepening stretches and opening the body. By using blocks as props, individuals can create space and length in poses, allowing for a greater stretch and increased flexibility. For example, in a supported bridge pose (Setu Bandhasana), placing a block under the sacrum provides a gentle backbend and encourages the release of tension in the lower back and hips.

Restorative and Therapeutic Practices

Yoga blocks are commonly utilised in restorative and therapeutic yoga practices. They assist in creating a comfortable and supportive environment for relaxation and stress relief. By using blocks as props in restorative poses, such as supported child's pose (Balasana) or supported fish pose (Matsyasana), individuals can experience deep relaxation and encourage the release of tension and tightness in the body.

Yoga blocks are versatile and essential props in the practice of yoga. They provide support, stability, and assistance in maintaining proper alignment, enabling practitioners to explore poses safely and comfortably. Whether used for modifications, variations, deepening stretches, or restorative practices, yoga blocks enhance the yoga experience and make the practice accessible to individuals of varying abilities and body types. Incorporating yoga blocks into yoga sessions can contribute to improved alignment, flexibility, and overall well-being.