A Few of The Ways of Using Blocks

Props are part of any yoga practice, your go to block(s) and belt can really help you progress. I sometimes see students who feel crippled by the thought of using props, feeling they’re not ‘good enough’. But, wherever you are today, is in fact good enough. Using a belt in a forward bent isn’t a reminder for you that you can’t reach your toes, it’s a mean for you to be able to progress and eventually reach your toes.

When used right, props can really transform your practice. You can reach your toes, you can get into crow, you can jump from downward dog to seated even. Props are here to help you push yourself. It’s important not to get too comfortable with them and to lose them every now and then to see where you are but they’re great means for your practice journey.

Here are a few ways for you to use blocks in your practice:

1. Bakasana (Crow pose): Sometimes, this trick comes in handy to get you into crow. Stepping off of the block rather than the mat, it gives you a buffer until you strengthen your core and arms enough to lift.

2. Prasarita Trikonasana (Revolving triangle pose): In this twist, if you can't yet reach your palm to the mat, use a block. It's better than just trying to reach with your fingers if you're close because you want use the block (or mat) to push against it and lift your chest to benefit from this spinal twist.

3. Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-legged forward bend standing pose): This is variation D, the block can be used in A, B, or C as well. The block here acts as a step closer to you to bring the top of your head down. If you're higher, just use the bock vertically.

4. Paschimottanasana (Seated forward bend pose): Here, if you can already reach and bind your fingers to your toes and want to go further, you can always use a block over your feet and create more space for your upper body to lengthen.​

5. Bhujapidasana: Using blocks for this arm balance gives you more space to lift if you can't lift from off the mat yet. Place your palms on the blocks and you'll have more room to interlock your ankles and try lifting.

6. Downward dog to seated transition: This is a fun favorite for me. Transitions are never easy and they usually take longer to get fully. In your Vinyasa between poses, in downward dog, bring blocks and put them beneath your palms and experiment here with jumping forward to seated. The height the blocks give you, helps you learn how to make this transition. Eventually you'll lose the blocks and transition without them.

* Remember two things always, falling is a part of practice. So fall out of poses, breathe, and get back into them. Also, play with the poses and don't be afraid to experiment. Be careful & have fun with it :)