Yoga Blocks: Types, Brands, Benefits, and How to Use Them
Yoga blocks, also known as yoga bricks, are an essential tool for yoga practitioners of all levels. They are made of foam, cork, or bamboo, and come in various sizes and shapes to accommodate different body types and yoga poses. In this article, we will explore the types of yoga blocks, popular brands, their benefits, and how to use them.
Types of Yoga Blocks
Foam Yoga Blocks: Foam blocks are the most common type of yoga blocks. They are lightweight, soft, and easy to grip, making them ideal for beginners. Foam blocks come in different densities, from soft to firm, to provide varying levels of support. They are also available in different sizes and shapes to support different yoga poses.
Cork Yoga Blocks: Cork blocks are denser and heavier than foam blocks, making them more durable and stable. They provide more support and stability, making them ideal for experienced yogis who want to deepen their practice. Cork blocks are also eco-friendly, as they are made from sustainable materials.
Bamboo Yoga Blocks: Bamboo blocks are similar to cork blocks in terms of weight and density, but they are more environmentally friendly. They are also more durable and stable than foam blocks, making them a good choice for more advanced yoga practitioners.
Best Yoga Blocks in 2023 – My recommendations
Some of the most popular yoga block brands include Manduka, Gaiam, Hugger Mugger, and Jade Yoga. Prices vary depending on the brand, material, size, and shape of the block. Foam blocks typically range from $10 to $20, while cork and bamboo blocks range from $20 to $40.
- Manduka: Manduka Cork Yoga Block (Available at Amazon.com):This yoga block is made from sustainable cork and has a firm, stable feel. It is designed to provide support and stability during yoga practice, and the natural texture of the cork provides a non-slip grip. Many users find that the Manduka Cork Yoga Block is durable and long-lasting, and appreciate the eco-friendly materials used in its construction.
- Gaiam: Gaiam Essentials Yoga Block (foam block)(Available at Amazon.com): This foam yoga block is a budget-friendly option for those looking for a simple, lightweight block. It is made from high-density foam and provides a moderate amount of support. Many users find that this block is easy to grip and provides enough stability for basic poses and stretches.
- Hugger Mugger: Hugger Mugger Cork Yoga Block(Available at Amazon.com):This cork yoga block from Hugger Mugger is similar in construction to the Manduka block, with a firm, stable feel and natural cork texture. It is designed to provide support and stability during yoga practice, and many users find that it is durable and long-lasting. Some users note that this block is heavier than foam blocks, which can make it more difficult to transport.
- Jade Yoga: Jade Yoga Harmony Yoga Block (foam block)(Available at Amazon.com): This foam yoga block from Jade Yoga is made from eco-friendly materials and has a soft, comfortable feel. It provides a moderate amount of support and is lightweight, making it easy to carry to and from yoga class. Many users appreciate the natural feel of the foam and find that it provides enough stability for basic poses and stretches.
Benefits of Using Yoga Blocks
Yoga blocks offer a range of benefits, including:
- Improved alignment: Blocks help yogis achieve proper alignment in poses that may otherwise be challenging.
- Increased flexibility: Blocks allow yogis to gradually deepen stretches, promoting increased flexibility over time.
- Increased stability: Blocks provide stability and support for challenging poses, allowing yogis to hold poses for longer periods.
- Injury prevention: Blocks can be used to modify poses and prevent injury by providing support and reducing strain on joints.
Do You Really Need Yoga Blocks?
While yoga blocks are not necessary for all yoga poses, they can be a helpful tool for both beginners and experienced yogis. They can help you achieve proper alignment and prevent injury, and also allow you to explore poses in new ways.
Are Yoga Blocks Just for Beginners?
No, yoga blocks are not just for beginners. Experienced yogis can also benefit from using blocks to deepen their practice and achieve proper alignment in more challenging poses.
How Do Beginners Use Yoga Blocks?
Beginners can use yoga blocks in a variety of ways, including:
- For support in seated and standing poses.
- For balance and stability in standing poses.
- For modifications in poses that may otherwise be too challenging.
- For increased flexibility in poses like forward folds and hip openers.
Should Yoga Blocks Be Heavy?
The weight of the block depends on personal preference and the intended use. Foam blocks are typically lighter and softer, while cork and bamboo blocks are heavier and more stable.
What’s the Difference Between a Yoga Block and Brick?
Yoga blocks and bricks are similar, but bricks are smaller and more square-shaped than blocks. Bricks are typically used to provide support in seated and standing poses, while blocks are used for a wider variety of poses and modifications.
Are Cork Yoga Blocks Better?
Cork yoga blocks are often considered better than foam blocks because they are more durable, stable, and eco-friendly. However, personal preference and intended use should be considered when choosing a block.
How Do You Sit on a Yoga Block?
To sit on a yoga block, place the block on the ground and sit on top of
it with your sitting bones. You can also place the block lengthwise between your legs and sit on it, which can help to lengthen the spine and reduce strain on the lower back.
How Do You Clean Yoga Blocks?
To clean yoga blocks, wipe them down with a damp cloth and mild soap. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the surface of the block. Allow the block to air dry completely before storing it.
What is the Difference Between Cork and Foam Yoga Blocks?
The main difference between cork and foam yoga blocks is the density and weight. Cork blocks are denser and heavier than foam blocks, providing more stability and support. Foam blocks are softer and more lightweight, making them a good choice for beginners or for poses that require less support.
How Long Do Cork Mats Last?
Cork yoga mats are durable and long-lasting, and can last for several years with proper care. The lifespan of a cork mat depends on factors such as frequency of use, type of practice, and how well it is cared for. To extend the life of your cork mat, keep it clean and dry, and avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.