There are a variety of uses for yoga blocks, both in asana (active posing) practice and in meditation (next article). Here’s a few uses for yoga blocks in a yoga practice. Yoga blocks are used to “bring the floor up to you” in many poses for folks who cannot reach the floor in the pose – forward bend, triangle, side angle, to name a few. They allow the hand to be placed in a firm, stationary position. This, in turn, allows for proper alignment – often times having the hand/arm firm lets the yogi twist or extend further into the pose using the leverage of the hand position.
Blocks can help the yogi get closer to the ideal expression of a pose. By using blocks, the pose can often be more comfortable just because of the way the body is structured (an example is sleeping with a pillow vs. sleeping without a pillow); a posture can be held longer by letting some of the body’s weight rest on the hand/arm; they can help the yogi get the rest of the body into better alignment, thus reducing strain and chance of injury.
First lesson: the block has three heights – 4 inches, 6 inches, and 9 inches. Use whichever height works best for you – there is no right or wrong.
Second lesson: here’s a few examples of how to use blocks in yoga, try the pose with and without the blocks, see which feels better: