For months, you’ve skipped over that part in your yoga video that looked intimidating, or worse, just plain hurt when you tried it. You could give up and resign yourself to more basic poses…or, you could level up by incorporating a yoga block into your practice. Made of a variety of materials, like cork and foam, yoga blocks are essential in helping you master challenging balancing poses while also deepening your stretches and keeping your spine aligned. While they’re a common staple among beginners looking to stay stabilized, they’re equally beneficial for advanced yogis looking to, well, advance. The best yoga blocks on the market will give you support, stay firmly planted on the ground and be comfortable enough to make you want to nama-stay in downward dog all day—and we’ve tracked them down for you.
What Are Yoga Blocks?
Yoga blocks are so much more than random chunks of material scattered across your yoga studio or home gym. Essentially, they serve as a mode of stability and a tool for increasing your range of motion. Each one offers three levels of intensity, which you can change by simply flipping them around to suit your needs.
What to Look For in a Yoga Block
At first glance, yoga blocks appear pretty similar, making it frustrating to shop for them. But no sweat! (Or, if you’re practicing Bikram, maybe a little bit of sweat). In general, you want to opt for a block that features rounded or diagonal-cut edges that won’t dig or cut into your skin when you rest the weight of your body on top of it.
The two most popular materials for them are foam or cork, the former of which is both lighter and more malleable. Foam also absorbs enough shock on the joints to be suitable for practitioners of all levels (we’re looking at you, newbies).
Cork yoga blocks, meanwhile, which you may have caught a glimpse of on a yoga influencer’s feed, also deserve a place in your home practice for a number of reasons. For starters, they tend to be heavier than their foam counterparts, which allows them to stay more firmly anchored to the ground. This is a huge bonus for those who struggle with stability in their poses. If you tend to sweat, cork is a great choice, as it won’t slip and/or slide as easily as foam thanks to its porous and jagged texture. It also certainly helps that cork is a renewable material that will make for a more sustainable option for the planet.
You’ll also want to consider the depth of your yoga block. They usually have a thickness between 2.5 to 4 inches, and while most folks prefer a wider block, a slimmer cut may be more comfortable if you have narrow hips and plan to use it as a spacer between your legs.
How to Use Yoga Blocks
Yoga blocks allow you to get creative in your practice. You can use them in any pose that requires you to place your hands on the ground, for instance, thereby increasing range of motion. For example, in triangle pose, which requires you to …….