There’s a common misconception in yoga that props such as straps or blocks are just for beginners, but the truth is that regardless of ability level, using props can enhance many postures, allowing you to feel their benefits even more than you normally would. Particularly now, with many people practicing yoga in their homes without a teacher to assist, yoga props can really help deepen a pose. Let’s start with the humble block, and a few ways it can help make the most of your practice.
Extended Side Angle
In extended side angle pose, many students focus on getting as low as possible and reaching as far as they can with the top arm. That’s all fine, but it’s easy to forget that this posture is also all about opening the chest. Using a block under the hand creates more space for the chest to roll open and helps to create a straight line from the back foot all the way to the top of the fingertips.
Squeezing a block between your knees in bridge pose encourages the glutes and hamstrings to switch on even more than they normally would. Activating the muscles in this way helps keep the knees from splaying outwards and helps protect the lower back.
Seated Forward Fold
Teachers will often suggest sitting on a block during a forward fold, which helps to tilt the pelvis forward. However, if you’re already quite flexible, you can hold a block and press it gently against the soles of your feet. This helps keep the feet flexed and switches on the leg muscles, making it a really active stretch.
In a seated twist of any kind, it’s important to keep the spine as tall and straight as possible. Using a block under your hand creates additional height, which lengthens the spine and allows you to feel a nice satisfying stretch in the lower back.
Final Relaxation pose
In case the name didn’t give it away, the whole point of this posture is to relax. For some people, though, lying flat on the ground creates too much of an arch in the lower back which makes it difficult to really melt into the posture. Propping a couple of blocks under the knees can be more comfortable for the lower back, so your only challenge will be staying awake.
Blocks and other yoga accessories are available for purchase via our online store.