Four ways to use a yoga block
Many yogis use a yoga block to enhance their flow, improve their positioning and deepen their practice. Some people think blocks are just for beginners, but it is common to introduce a block to your flow if you want deeper versions of the poses you would usually flow in and out of quickly. Placing a yoga block under your head, between your knees or even under the arch of your back can improve your overall yoga experience, but may be daunting if you’re not sure how to use a yoga block. So, read on for four effective ways to use your block.
1: Supported Bridge
Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Ground your feet and upper arms into the mat and lift your hips, then lift your spine, up into the bridge pose. Place your yoga block horizontally, at its lowest height, underneath your tailbone and allow the weight of your hips to rest on the block.
You can choose to remain in this position, focusing on your breathing, or flow into the variation bridge pose by bringing one knee towards your nose and straightening the other leg, then vice-versa. This is a relaxing pose, ideal for novices.
2: Downward-facing Dog
Come down onto your hands and knees and place one block flat onto the top left corner of your mat, and another block flat onto the top right corner of your mat. Place your left hand on the left block and your right hand on the right block, ensuring that your palms are flat on each block.
Inhale, tuck your toes under and lift your hips up into the downward-facing dog position. Using blocks in this pose is ideal for beginners and those who are less flexible, as the blocks will heighten your upper body, allowing you to ground your heels more easily.
3: Standing Forward Bend
Stand normally and place two blocks on the floor on their ends, about shoulder-width apart, in front of your feet. Put your hands on your hips then bend forwards from your hip joints.
Reach your hands forwards, onto your blocks, ensuring your hips are still over your heels. With each breath, lift and try to lengthen your front torso. This will help any yogi work towards a flat spine.
4: Reclined Twist
Lie on your back with knees bent and feet hip-width apart, flat on the floor. Draw your knees towards your chest and place the yoga block between your knees (it can be between your inner thighs, too). Put a second yoga block between your feet. Squeeze your knees and feet into the blocks to keep them secure.
Now extend your arms out into a ‘T’ shape and drop your knees to the right, so that your legs rest on the floor. Ensure both shoulders are still grounded into the mat. Stay in this position for 6–8 breaths, then change to drop your knees to the left, repeating your breathing.
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