5 Ways to Use Yoga Blocks
Yoga blocks help newcomers with limited flexibility to achieve proper alignment to get the most out of their yoga practice. They help you lengthen, extend, soften, and deepen as appropriate within any pose. Below are five poses where a yoga block can come in handy.
1. Forward Fold
The forward fold pose is helpful to increase flexibility in the low body. They stretch the hamstrings, hips, and spine as well as strengthen the thighs and knees. The benefits of these poses include reduced stress by soothing the spinal nerves and slowing down the heartbeat, calming the mind, and relieving abdominal pain.
If you tend to be tighter in the hamstrings and calve muscles, then place a block underneath your hands for additional length. You can adjust the setting of the block as you gain more flexibility over time.
2. Staff Pose
Staff pose is a foundational seated position that provides the structural basis for all seated positions. It helps to strengthen the back muscles, stretch the shoulders and chest, and improves posture.
If you are not flexible in the low body then sitting on a block will help. This helps to tilt your pelvis backward so you can hinge from the hips to increase your depth in the pose. It also helps to prevent rounding of the back while in this pose.
3. Pigeon Pose
Pigeon pose is an effective hip opening pose. It stretches thighs, hips, groin, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and spine. It also opens the chest and shoulders, and improves posture.
If you tend to be tight in the low body, particularly at the hamstring attachments, then place a block underneath the upper thigh for additional support. It will prevent your hips from pressing down on your hamstrings causing unnecessary discomfort or risking injury.
4. Half or Full Splits Pose
Splits pose is an advanced flexibility pose that requires opening of nearly all the muscles in the low body. It stretches hamstrings, groin, thighs, and hips. For many, it takes a lot of practice to be able to achieve this pose.
If you are struggling with your splits, place a block underneath both hands on each side of the body for additional support. This will help you ease into the pose at a comfortable pace as you control your depth. It will also help you to hold yourself up if you are not ready to get into the full depth of the pose.
5. Squatting Pose
Squat pose is an effective grounding pose that aims to center the body. It massages the internal organs and helps position the body for excretion. It also stretches back, groin, hips, and ankles.
If you find it difficult to squat all the way down, place a block underneath your sits bones for additional support. This will help prevent unnecessary discomfort as well as rounding of the back.
Remember each person is different. Some might only require the blocks for a short period of time while others might need it for longer. Take your time and try to include some of these modifications into your practice. With time, you will begin to experience noticeable transformation in your body.