What are Yoga Blocks and How do You Use Them?
Yoga is pretty trendy in the fitness world at the minute, and there's always so much more to learn. With advancements and discoveries being made constantly, as well as new areas of yoga coming to light, it only makes sense that it’s being adapted and advanced too. One of the ways that that’s happening is through the use of new tools and equipment — one of which, being yoga blocks.
Now, many people that are into their yoga are too quick to dismiss them. They come across as an aid rather than an advancement, but there’s more to them than meets the eye. No matter where you are in your yoga journey or how good your skill may be, there’s always room for one if you know how to use them.
Starting from the basics, what is a yoga block? It's something we've all asked ourselves at some point (even if that's right now from this article). They are generally like little foam or cork bricks that you use throughout your yoga workout. You use them to help you learn new positions and to balance and strengthen your body more effectively. In a nutshell anyway.
That isn't to say that they are just for new starters or people with weaknesses though. If you do your homework, they really can help even the best of yogis.
Here's how to use yoga blocks, no matter how good you may be.
Let's start with the beginners. That's where the mind tends to wander first, so it makes sense. Yoga blocks are an awesome way to help you develop your skills and try new things. They give you an extra few centimetres of reach or support depending on how you use them, and that can really change the game.
The most common ways that happens? Well, even just placing them on the floor is an excellent way to extend your reach. If your flexibility isn’t quite what it should be, or what you want it to be, the block can be that bridge you need to reach the floor. Using one gets your body accustomed to the movement, and that's how you develop! Under your bum, hands or knees are the most common yoga block uses, but experiment and see how they can help you out!
(Here are some beginner yoga poses. See what you think!)
If you’re more advanced and think that you’re doing just fine without a yoga block, good for you! That’s great! They can actually still be really useful to you, though, so don't rule them out straight away!
It’s not unusual to squeeze a yoga block between your legs or arms during poses to add an extra contraction into your movement. That makes the hard poses even harder and means that you're getting a tougher workout while strengthening even more muscles! (Isometric exercise if you want to get specific with it).
Even on top of all that, they can still help you in the same way that they can help beginners! There are probably at least a couple of poses that you still struggle with. It's only normal, after all. That means that using a yoga block can help you reach the next level too. Some tactical positions here and there and you’ve got yourself from a half to a full pose, or even just giving your hands and knees some added protection as you venture into poses new.
Ultimately, they are better than you might think. They aren't a new way to cheat or a quick shortcut to yoga, but they can be a huge help if you use them properly. Don't rely on them too much, but let them give you the confidence to try new poses and push yourself little by little. Your strength, mobility and flexibility will all thank you for it in the long run.
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If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.