5 Ways to Use Yoga Blocks
1. Child’s pose (Balasana)- Setting the blocks under the elbows: I didn’t see this variation of child’s pose until years into my practice. I had used blocks in melted heart, but had never really felt comfortable there. To use your blocks in child’s pose begin by propping a block under each elbow near the front of your mat. Blocks should be shoulder width distance, enough so that your head can fit in between the two. Sink your hips back towards your heels, and as you lower your torso down, let your head come in between the two blocks, as they gently support your arms. Keep the elbows wrapped in by the ears, with the option to bring your hands to prayer position behind the back of your head. Once you start to melt your heart to the ground, you can adjust the blocks to a lower or higher setting.
2. Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)- Setting the block under your sit bones. Lifting the hips up can help make it easier to achieve a straight spine in your seated position. Use the block length wise underneath you so that both sit bones can rest on it, from here, tilt the pelvis down so that you are sitting up tall. This will help your seated poses, as well as assist in a seated forward fold.
3. Half-moon (Ardha Chandrāsana) - Using the block under your hand: If you’re doing the pose on your right leg, set the block a foot or so in front of your right toes. Make sure the block is stable, then use it as a stand for your right hand. Bring your left hand to your left hip as you start to float the left leg up. Flex your left toes as you start to stack your left hip on top of your right, additionally starting to stack your left shoulder on top of the right. Your torso should now be facing the left side of the room as your come into your external rotation. Choose to keep your right hand on your block, or for the next progression, start to float the hand off the block, staying active and extended through both arms.
4. Forward-fold (Uttanasana)- Using the blocks under your hands: Blocks at the top of your mat can be a great way to “lengthen” the arms so that the practitioner can touch the ground. This is especially true for the yogi with tight hamstrings.If you’re practicing a flow and you transition in and out of forward fold at the top of you mat, it can be nice to keep the blocks propped there, allowing a way for the hands to find contact and make your forward fold more accessible.
5. Supported Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) - Using the blocks under your sacrum: This can be such a lovely pose to finish out your practice with. This assist can happen with one or two blocks, we suggest trying both to find what feels best for you. Starting in bridge pose prep, on your back with your heels drawn in towards your hips, knees facing the ceiling, squeeze your glutes, lift your low back off the mat, and slide one or both blocks underneath your sacrum. You may need to adjust to a higher or lower setting. Play around with different levels on your block, before choosing on your variation. The blocks should be flat on the mat, secure under your sacrum, and the pelvis should remain neutral for optimal relaxation. Once here, sink in and enjoy!