Yoga Box Revelations: Embrace Mindful Bliss in a Box
Yoga blocks are rectangular props used to provide support, alignment, and added challenges during yoga poses. Blocks make yoga more accessible to beginners, while also allowing more advanced students to deepen stretches and find variation. This guide will cover the benefits of yoga boxes, how to use them effectively, and sample sequences to open hips, hamstrings, shoulders, and more.
Overview of Yoga Blocks
Yoga blocks are sturdy props made of wood, cork, or foam. They generally measure around 4 inches x 6 inches x 9 inches, providing enough height to support most body frames in a range of poses. Blocks give students additional lift to reach proper alignment, as well as leverage to aid relaxation into shapes.
Blocks support beginners working toward more advanced postures. Those with injuries or limited flexibility also rely on blocks to prevent overexertion. More experienced yogis use blocks to add nuance to poses through different hand, foot, and prop placements. Teachers often provide cues and corrections using the blocks.
Benefits of Using Yoga Box
Here are some of the key benefits of using the yoga box:
- Allow you to properly align joints and distribute weight in poses
- Provide lift and support under hands or feet in standing and seated shapes
- Help beginners safely work toward more challenging balancing and inverted poses
- Give leverage to deepen stretches such as hamstring and hip openers
- Maintain integrity of poses when mobility is limited
- Enable you to hold poses longer with adequate support
- Add variations to poses through different hand, foot, and prop placements
- Alleviate pressure on wrists, knees, ankles, and other sensitive joints
How to Use Blocks Effectively
To effectively incorporate blocks into your practice:
- Place blocks directly under joints for precise alignment cues (under sit bones, hands, heels, etc.)
- Experiment with different block heights to find the right amount of support or stretch
- Stack two blocks on their shortest ends when more height is needed
- Always check your alignment and make adjustments as needed
- Engage actively through the core to prevent over-passively sinking into props
- Use blocks to find length – push evenly into both feet or hands when supported
Sample Block Sequences
Here are two sample sequences using the yoga box:
- Low Lunge – Block under the back knee
- Lizard Lunge – Blocks under forearms
- Frog Pose – Blocks under knees
- Pigeon Pose – Block under the front thigh
- Bridge Pose – Block under the sacrum
- Standing Forward Fold – Blocks under hands
- Pyramid Pose – Block under the back foot
- Half Splits – Block under front thigh
- Seated Forward Fold – Blocks under thighs
- Reclined Hand to Big Toe – Block under foot
Play with block placement under different body parts to find the variation that best suits your body. And don’t be afraid to stack blocks when more height is needed. Proper alignment will allow you to relax deeper into each shape.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the yoga box:
How do you choose the right size yoga box?
Answer: The standard block size of 4x6x9 inches will suit most adults. Shorter people may prefer a smaller 3x6x6 inch block. There are also half-size blocks, but the full size is the most versatile.
What are the benefits of a cork yoga box?
Answer: Cork blocks have an eco-friendly, natural feel. The spongy cork material provides more cushioning during poses. Cork also contours better to the body. However, they lack the stability of wood or foam blocks.
Can blocks be used to challenge advanced yoga students?
Answer: Yes, advanced students can use blocks to help deepen poses requiring flexibility like pigeons and frogs by providing leverage and support. Blocks also allow for more complex balancing like sickle moon with the bottom hand on a block.
How do you properly sanitize the yoga box after class?
Answer: Wipe your blocks thoroughly with an antibacterial yoga mat spray after class. Do not put blocks in the washing machine or soak them – simply use a damp cloth to wipe them down. Let them fully air dry before using them again.
Can you use blocks if you practice yoga at home?
Blocks are extremely useful whether you practice at home or in a studio. Home practitioners can properly align and deepen poses without a teacher present to provide adjustments. Blocks also add variations.
Yoga blocks are versatile tools that allow students of all levels to find support and alignment in their practice. Beginners rely on blocks to access more challenging shapes safely. Advanced students use blocks to deepen poses requiring flexibility and add nuanced variations. Test different placements under the hands, feet, back, hips, and more to find the variations that suit your body best. Blocks help build your practice gradually with proper foundation and care.