16 Ways to Use Yoga Blocks You’ve Probably Never Tried Before
When I first started practicing yoga, I couldn’t bear being someone who needed blocks. Only after I was able to set my ego aside was I able to understand the value of allowing this support into my practice. My relationship with blocks slowly progressed from pretty casual to sort of noncommittal and, eventually, to utter devotion.
More than a decade later, I rely on blocks in most poses in my personal practice as well as in the classes I teach. I almost always ask students to take two blocks to their mat. I don’t cue them to reach for blocks only on an “if you need them” basis. I prefer to normalize using them. (Heck, you could even use them as a nightstand.)
It’s our nature as humans to underestimate the value of simple things. Blocks can assist even the most quiet and still moments in our practice, including during breathwork and meditation. One of the most effective ways I cue students to use a block is to ask them to lie on their backs with a block resting on their lower belly. This helps them become more aware of their breath. I also rely on blocks to reinforce and refine my and my students’ alignment in poses that we’re working on—even those we may be hesitant to try. Blocks provide support as we’re learning how to engage our muscles and our mind—the kind of help that we sometimes struggle to accept. In this capacity, blocks allow us to evolve our perspective so we can surprise ourselves with what we can achieve and hold ourselves in the integrity of a pose even when it’s challenging.
The moment we release what we think we know is when we begin to learn. This is true about anything—including yoga. We can find inspiration in the resources available to us. Simple things—in this case, blocks—tend to reveal their inherent value when we think a little less and look a little harder.