What are Yoga Blocks?
Yoga blocks are rectangular-shaped foam blocks used in yoga classes to vary poses by raising the body to the needed level. They are very popular tools used to help in raising the body to the proper height to do certain poses.
There are kinds of yoga blocks to help in stretching and balancing. We use blocks to help find balance when one can’t go into a full pose without assistance. They also allow us to stretch deeper and more thoroughly.
The blocks help you stretch and reach your toes if you can’t reach your toes during a practicing yoga session. They add stability and support you in other poses so you don’t fall and roll into the abyss and help you avoid an injury or strain.
Examples of yoga poses that require using yoga blocks include:
- Tadasana Tersembahkan
- Uttanasana Padasanghan
- Dwi Padaana
- Salamba Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
- Forward Bend
- Stand Up Straight
- Bright Eyes
- Increased Flexibility
History of Yoga Blocks
The late B.K.S Iyengar first introduced yoga blocks in 1970's and over the years they haved become a prop tool that provides the yogi with support. It leverages for a deeper expression of the body's alignment while doing yoga poses.
The majority of the yoga blocks you buy for home use will be made with EVA foams. This is because they are readily available and inexpensive, are lightweight and durable, and maintain their form over time without absorbing sweat and moisture from the skin. They also have a comfortable and soft feel.
These foams are widely used for blocks as well as other common items like shoes and packing material. They also often come in a translucent or translucent white color.
There are other foam block options available that are also worth considering. Many yoga beginner kits include foam blocks that are supplemented with firm cushioning. Also, the blocks available at the most professional yoga studios will likely be made of soft, dense foam. This type of foam is much denser, supports heavier weights, and has a thicker feel to it.
Go to a yoga store or manufacturer’s website, and read some of the terminology used. For example, find out what the density is and what the density number means as you shop for blocks.
Cork is one of the most environmentally-friendly yoga blocks. It is produced from the bark of cork trees. It comes from the layer of cork that protects the tree from drought and insects. Over time, the bark splits and curls and forms natural pockets called phellem. Cork is durable and firm so it is used to make yoga blocks, shoe soles, and furniture. Because of its durability, it doesn’t degrade and has a long life cycle.
If your old yoga block isn’t holding its shape, you can spray it with food-grade water-repellent and then put it in the freezer and then bring it out and let it stand for a few minutes before use. It should help re-fluff it. Check for cork allergy or problem with the use of supplemental cork products before buying a yoga block made of cork.
One complaint about cork blocks is that they don’t have a sticky bottom. They have another layer of cork underneath the yoga block which makes them harder to hold. Some brands offer a sticky mat or rubber underside to help with that.
Most of the blocks found in the market are made with wood, wood powder, and resin. The blocks made of wood are classic and still the most widely available. Although they are easy to use because they have the right weight, they are not the best choices for beginners because they are slippery when your hands are sweaty.
While wood blocks are used by people of all levels, as your yoga practice level increases, you will need a stickier surface. Resin is an alternative for wood, providing a stronger grip. Problems you can face with wood blocks are that they deteriorate and stain with time, so it is better to keep them out of direct sunlight. The woodblocks are also good for people with sensitive noses.
The most commonly used materials for making yoga blocks are wood, cork, and EVA foam. You can use a yoga block made out of any one of these, depending on your comfort level and your expertise and experience in yoga practice. If you are a pro yoga practitioner, you might require a stickier surface to hold on to while trying active and aggressive yoga poses and wood yoga blocks may not serve the purpose. If anyone has a cork allergy then Cork yoga blocks are not for them. The most popular and widely used type of yoga block is made of EVA foam offering amazing grip, durability, and affordability.