September is National Yoga Month, and it’s a good reminder to practice yoga and live a more balanced life. While yoga might help you improve mobility, posture, and balance, the practice of yoga offers so much more—including self-reflection, kindness to ourselves and others, and continued growth and self-awareness. Of course, if you can discover a sense of security in the postures, all of this is far easier to pursue.
The Definition of Yoga Blocks and How to Use Them to Improve Your Poses
Yoga has numerous props that may be utilized to help you better express a yoga posture. The yoga block is one of the most popular yoga accessories in class. The block, which is typically made of foam, bamboo, wood, or cork, is sometimes used as an extension of the arms but can also support the back, head, and hips to assist the body to relax into position. Yoga blocks are additionally:
- The range of motion is also increased, thus reducing the distance between you and the floor (“bringing the floor closer to you”)
- Assist in the alignment of your body.
- Make yoga more accessible to novices and individuals dealing with pain or other physical incapabilities.
- Bring attention to the purpose of engaging and supporting muscles in a certain posture.
- It may be positioned in low, medium, or high places to better support the user.
The following four postures are wonderful examples of utilizing a yoga block to increase flexibility and have a more enjoyable yoga practice, whether you’re seated or standing, have restricted hips and shoulders, or some combination thereof.
Ardha Chandrasana or Half-moon Pose (Balance)
How: 6-12 inches in front of the standing foot, slightly to the outside and on the highest height level Place your hand on the yoga block and extend up and out of the shoulder while stepping into the right foot and straightening the right leg from a high-lunge posture with your right foot forward. Raise the left leg parallel to the floor. Slowly roll up and back until you have turned your entire body so that all of your fronts is facing toward the wall.
Why: The block shortens the distance between your hand and the supporting surface, making it simpler to lift your torso, expand through the chest, and maintain upper body alignment without collapsing into the side of your body. When having use of a block to assist in balance, you’ll be able to open up your hips gradually and obtain all of the benefits from strong ankles, knees, legs, and mental concentration.
Hero’s Pose-Virasana (Seated Meditation)
How: Kneeling is the easiest posture to start with. Kneel on a mat, with your knees and feet hip-distance apart. Place the block between your shins on the medium level. Slowly lower your body back onto the block. Engage the core, extend the spine, and maintain length in the back of the neck by lengthening it gently. Palms should be placed on top of your thighs.
Why: Lifting your hips higher than your knees reduces knee stress and discomfort, making it simpler for you to sit in this posture to get the benefits of stretching the feet, ankles, and thighs.
Matseyasana or Fish Pose (Heart Opener)
How: You’ll need two blocks. Sit with your legs bent and your feet on the floor to begin. Place one block in the middle at a medium height where you think your shoulder blades will rest when you lie back. Place the other block in the middle at a medium height where you think your head will rest. Gently lean back and release your shoulder blades slightly above the first block before releasing your head onto the second block. Allow your arms to drop at your sides as you relax.
Why: The yoga block assists us in increasing our thorax and ribcage by pulling our arms and shoulders back. You will aid in the formation of additional breathing space by opening up your chest, shoulders, neck, and abdominal muscles.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose-Sukta Baddha Konasana (Hip Opener)
How: You’ll need two blocks. Sitting with your legs bent and your feet on the floor is a good place to begin. As the bottoms of your feet touch, gently let your knees fall open as the soles of your feet come together, and draw your heels toward your glutes. Place a block beneath each thigh to support the weight of each leg by lying down and placing your arms at your sides.
Why: If your inner thighs and hips are tense, you will notice a tugging sensation in your legs as they dangle in mid-air. The blocks beneath the legs assist to relieve tension in the inner thighs and hips.