B. K. S. Iyengar, who founded Iyengar Yoga in the 1970's, introduced the use of yoga props to assist practitioners towards correct alignment in the asanas. One of the most common myths about yoga is that it is only for flexible people. The use of props democratises the practice for all body types and makes even complex asanas accessible with some support.
Yoga blocks can be used to improve your alignment, support yourself in a challenging asana or go deeper into your practice. Her we explore a few ways you can use yoga blocks in different poses to get better alignment and a deeper stretch.
The Triangle Pose is one of the first poses you learn when you begin a yoga practice. It's a great pose to improve alignment and stability. However, if you have tight hamstrings, it becomes challenging to reach the floor. Instead your hand struggles to stay on your shin or your ankle and your body hunches losing all sense of alignment.
Use a block to give yourself more stability so you can focus on lifting through your chest, lengthening through your fingertips, and folding over your front leg.
Triangle Pose with a yoga block:
1. Start in the middle of your mat in Mountain Pose. Spread your feet out 3-4 feet wide.
2. Turn your right foot out at 90 degrees and turn your left foot slightly inwards.
3. Place the yoga block behind your right foot, close to the heel.
4. Reach your arms out to the sides, and extend towards the right side till your arm comes to rest on the block. Lift through your chest and extend your left arm up towards the sky.
5. Engage your core and ensure your body is linear, meaning you are not hunching or arching your back.
PRO TIP: Adjust the block’s height based on your needs so you are in proper alignment and still feeling a good stretch.
The standing forward fold provides a good stretch for the hips, hamstrings, and calves while strengthening the thighs and knees. However if you have a stiff back or tight calves and hamstrings, reaching your fingers to the floor can seem like a daunting task.
Using blocks gives you extra length and more control over how deeply you extend so that, instead of struggling to reach your toes, you can focus on expanding and extending while maintaining the posture.
Standing Forward Fold with yoga blocks:
PRO TIP: Keeping the yoga blocks farther away allows you more control for a milder stretch, while pulling them closer towards your feet will provide a deeper stretch in the hamstrings and hips.
This is the asana that inspired our logo ☺ Done properly and consistently, the downward facing dog rewards you with stronger hands, wrists, lower-back, hamstrings, calves and ankles. Downward Facing Dog is commonly referred to as a resting pose in yoga, but if you have tried Downward Dog as a beginner, you know it feels like anything but a resting pose.
If your hamstrings are tight and it's difficult to straighten the legs or reach the heels toward the floor, your body will probably compensate by rounding your spine.
Elevating your upper body will take the pressure off your wrists, balancing your body weight, and allow you to comfortably sink deeper into the pose to improve your overall flexibility.
PROTIP: Remember to still engage your core, arms, and legs as you would in this pose without blocks.
The Camel Pose works wonders for the back body. It improves spinal flexibility, opens up the hips and adds flexibility to the upper back and shoulders. It also works towards opening the chest area of the body. However, a tight pelvic area, shoulders and arms prevent you from experiencing the benefits of this pose.
Yoga blocks provide you with extra length so you are not forced into a backbend you are not ready for. Instead, you can control how deep your body can go and gradually progress as you gain more flexibility.
Camel Pose with yoga blocks:
PRO TIP: Come out of the pose by first bringing one hand at a time back onto your hips then lift up to a neutral spine.Click here to buy Proyog Natural Neem Wood Blocks.
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