I. LOVE. YOGA. BLOCKS.
Why? Because they help me stay in a yoga pose for a lot longer. They also help me achieve my best that I can do in an asana that is challenging.
A lot of us who practice yoga quite frequently, don’t always think to use yoga blocks and this MAINLY has to do with our egos. We think “Psh -I don’t need that yoga block…I can do this pose without it! I’m gonna push myself to do it without any extra help”
B.K.S Iyengar, the founding father of Iyengar yoga and the man credited with bringing yoga to the West, is one of the foremost pioneers of the use of props in a yoga class. He strongly emphasized that one achieves the maximum benefit in an asana when one is comfortable in it. When we are comfortable – we tend to stay there (and in yoga – this is great! Think of the benefits one would reap from being able to stretch, strengthen and breathe for a while in an asana) So he developed the concept of using belts, straps, blocks, and other props to help those who are novices, or injured or had any other limitation to still be able to do yoga.
Yoga blocks are not a crutch. They help provide stability so we can visualize our potential and build confidence! They’re also great for just providing relief and happiness (no no really – they DO make your back feel really happy in bridge pose – see figure below)
I could go on and on about how much I like yoga blocks but without much further ado – here are a few ways that I like to use them and hopefully you will too in your next yoga class!
“If the mountain won’t come to Muhammed…”
If you’re having trouble reaching the floor – make the floor come to you! Blocks help! You can adjust the height of the blocks and eventually, work your way to the floor.
Oh this makes my low back so happy!
And for the Pièce de résistance….
Half Moon! I push against the block and lift my body into this pose. This is a challenging pose but thanks to my trusty, pretty blue pal – I’m able to extend my leg and arms and remain STABLE, breathe smoothly and balance for several breaths.
There are several more poses where blocks can help and I hope to get to them soon and bombard you with more pictures! In the meantime – try them out on your own and report back – how was it?
Yoga is ultimately about compassion towards yourself. Blocks are a small but important part of that. Be kind to yourself and help your body out if it needs it 🙂
In case you’re interested – I got my block here: http://www.amazon.com/Gaiam-Recycled-Yoga-Block-Pacific/dp/B002XH5QMU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1388976933&sr=8-2&keywords=gaiam+blocks
Thanks so much for reading!