If I intend to teach a class that uses a prop (yoga block, strap, blanket or bolster) I usually have to provide said prop. Therefore, if I am going to lug 35 blocks to class, you better believe I plan to use it for more than one pose.
In a great stand-up bit by Tyler Fischer, he talks about yoga class and says there is always some mystery prop. The teacher will say something like, you are going to need to get yourself a blanket, two blocks and a live turtle. He’s spot on hilarious. Here is a link if you want to check out the whole bit. Tyler Fisher on Yoga Props
Blocks are probably the most versatile of the props. Think of them as a way to bring the ground closer, or, alternatively, make your arms longer. If you don’t have a block you really should consider getting one. They come in 3 and 4 inch versions, I recommend the 4-inch, here are two good ones. Four Inch Block or Three Inch Block
Once you have procured yourself block here are five of my favorite ways to use them.
Five Poses with a Yoga Block
- Runner’s Lunge- Use the block to lengthen the arms by placing it under the hands; or, lower down onto the forearms to drop into the middle-ground between hands on the floor and forearms on the floor. Try them both to see what your body responds to.
2. Revolved Lunge- use the block to get a little height and allow the ribs to more fully rotate towards the inner knee.
3. Bridge. Placing the block between the knees balances out the strength of the outer leg, which tends to pull the knees apart. The block between the knees engages those inner leg muscles and forces you to distribute the work between the inner and outer leg more equally.
4. Supported Bridge- This is a great way to release the hip flexors, align the SI joint and relieve low back pain. Place the block under the sacrum (the bony area above the tailbone, below the L5 vertebrae). For a more intense experience, try straightening out one or both legs.
- Pigeon. Slide the block under the elevated hip, and allow the block to fill in the space between the hip and the floor. Stay for a minimum of one minute best results.