Create Space In Your Postures

If a yoga newbie asked what a block was for, the answer would most likely be, to bring the ground up to you.  That’s a perfect answer because that’s what it often does.

There’s this idea about yoga blocks that they’re ideally used for beginner poses, and eventually, you should no longer need them.  However, at some point, as your practice moves into more intermediate and advanced postures, you may want to use the block to create more space in the postures.  Perhaps your back could use a bit more room to lengthen in Wheel or you need an extra few inches to lift up into Lolasana.

Please keep in mind that these postures are all intermediate to advanced poses.  If you’ve never tried them before, make sure you’re attempting them under the guidance of a knowledgable yoga instructor.  As always, be safe and respect your body when it’s letting you know it’s time to stop doing a certain posture.

Wheel | Urdvha Dhanurasana

Try adding the blocks under your feet or hands to give you an extra lift.  This can be especially helpful if wheel causes a certain amount of strain to the back.  The blocks help create the space needed to lengthen the spine as you lift into the posture.  Having the blocks under your hands is particularly beneficial if you have sensitive wrists.  If you find that your blocks are sliding, try placing them against the wall for a little added support.

Cork Yoga Blocks

Cork Yoga Blocks

Cork Yoga Blocks

L-Sit

Whether you’re interested in some serious strength work or you’re practicing jumping through, adding blocks can help create the lift you need for an L-sit.  You’ll be able to maintain length throughout your spine and the stability of your shoulders with blocks under the hands.

Cork Yoga Blocks

Pendant Pose | Lolasana Or Tadagi Mudra | Raised Lotus

Blocks could be used here for either lolasana (not pictured, knees are bent and in between the hands) or tadagi mudra (balancing on hands in lotus position).  Place your blocks under your hands to give yourself the ability to lift up, without having to fold forward to reach the floor.

Cork Yoga Blocks

Chin Stand | Ganda Bherundasana

Chin stand can be extremely challenging.  If you’re not quite ready for that level of balance, but want to play with the posture, try placing blocks under the shoulders.  The blocks will help support you as you lift your feet up, but also prevent you from falling right down on your face!

Cork Yoga Blocks

Firefly Pose | Titibasana

If you have ever played with Firefly pose, you know how awkward it can be to get your hands on the floor and your feet out in front of you.  Place the blocks under your hands to give you an extra lift up.  Once the blocks are under your hands you may notice that you have the ability to lift the feet and extend your legs in front of you.

Cork Yoga Blocks

Tortoise Pose | Kurmasana

Placing blocks under your feet in Kurmasana gives you the space to bring your torso under the feet so you can move deeper into the posture.

Cork Yoga Blocks

Special Thanks to Dikla Kafka-Hamudot for posing for these photos.  You can find her teaching yoga at Bala Yoga in Kirkland, Yoga Bliss on Mercer Island, and Sattva Yoga in Redmond.

Don’t have your own set of blocks yet?  You can purchase beautiful cork yoga blocks that I designed right over on Amazon!  Not only are they beautiful, they’ll be wonderfully supportive to your practice for years to come!

Crow Pose Modifications

Yoga Blocks

Try Crow Pose With These Modifications

Bakasana or Crow Pose as it’s commonly referred to is one of the first true arm balances you might encounter in your asana practice.  This pose can be quite challenging as you first begin attempting to work into it.  There are many things that go into the posture including arm strength, core strength, and proper hand placement.  If you don’t quite feel ready to work into the balance unassisted, try the following modifications to help you master your first arm balance!

If you don’t already have a solid set of yoga blocks for your practice, you can find them for sale on Etsy and Amazon


Use blocks under your feet for liftoff As you squat down and prep yourself for Bakasana, place a block under your feet to give you a little liftoff.  One of the most difficult things to do when you start your arm balancing practice is simply lifting your feet off of the floor.  By giving yourself a small boost you may find it easier to lift your toes up and play with balance.  Lift one foot at a time, until you’re able to pick both feet up.
Yoga Blocks
Yoga Blocks


Place a Block Under Your Head allowing you to feel supported as you lift your feet from the floor.  Having a block will give you the ability to focus more attention on lifting your feet rather than keeping your head off the floor.  It may also help you get over the fear of having your head off of the ground.

Yoga Blocks


Place Your Hands On Blocks This modification will help you create some space.  One of the most difficult parts of this pose is forcing your body into a tight ball before lifting up.  If you struggle to get into a deep squat, this modification gives you the space you might need to be able to lift up the hips. Once your hips are up, your feet will naturally start to lift from the floor.

Yoga Blocks


Bonus! If you’ve already mastered the art of this beginner arm balance, try lifting up with a block between your feet.  This will challenge you to fully engage the core and focus.

Yoga Blocks

 

Blocks are currently available for sale on Etsy and Amazon with more buying options coming soon!

Use Blocks To Work On Jump Throughs

How To Use Yoga Blocks

Trying to master a jump through can be very challenging and often overwhelming.  In this post, you’ll see how to use blocks to give you a little boost in the process along with some additional modifications.  I would absolutely recommend cork blocks for this over foam as they’re much more supportive.

  1. Start with the blocks in between the hands as you lift into downward dog.  Make sure you have a solid foundation and that the blocks are nicely in place.
  2. Lift onto the toes as you begin to build energy, preparing to jump through.
  3. Bend at the knees as you lift the hips up (if you’re not quite ready to jump, you can also slide your right foot up so it’s behind your left hand, and then your left foot behind your right hand, crossing your feet just behind the blocks.  If you do this, you’ll work on lifting the feet off the ground from here and into an L-Sit which may take quite some time to get to)
  4. As you jump through you’ll cross your legs before bringing your feet all the way through to an L-Sit.

Practice this regularly and over time you’ll build enough strength and stability to jump through without the blocks.

Of course, if you don’t have yoga blocks, you can swing over to my Etsy or Amazon stores to purchase a set of the blocks used in these photos.  Check back here to find more ideas on how to use yoga blocks to improve your Asana!

Thanks to Audrey Sutton of Blissful Soul for posing for the photos!
How To Use Yoga Blocks

How To Use Yoga Blocks

How To Use Yoga Blocks

How To Use Yoga Blocks

How To Use Yoga Blocks

Use Blocks For Wheel Pose

Seattle Yoga Photographer

Seattle Yoga Photographer

Wheel Pose – Urdhva Dhanurasana With Blocks

Full wheel is a complex yoga pose offered in so many yoga classes.  If you’ve ever tried wheel and it felt just out of reach, try this modification to help you practice going deeper.  If you have a back injury, wrist pain, high or low blood pressure or heart issues, you shouldn’t attempt Wheel.  This is a very intense backbend that will stretch the chest and shoulders.  Be sure to allow yourself a proper warm up before attempting!

Step 1: Place blocks against the wall framing your head.  Rest between the blocks and place your hands securely on the blocks.  Make sure you have a nice secure grip before moving forward.

Seattle Yoga Photographer

Step 2: With your hands securely placed on the blocks begin to shift your weight into your hands as you lift your hips off of the ground.  Work towards bringing the arms as straight as possible without working to the point of pain or injury.

 

Seattle Yoga Photographer

Step 3: Practice lifting higher, allowing yourself to go a bit deeper with each breath.  This allows you to practice wheel as you work your way up to the pose without blocks.

Seattle Yoga Photographer

Photographed here is Caitlin Collignon at Eka Yoga Seattle

 

 

Yoga Blocks For Inversions

Yoga Blocks

Have you ever wondered how you can use yoga blocks to take your practice a bit further?  There are so many resources out there that show you how to use blocks to modify postures, and often times people think the only use for blocks is to make a posture easy.  However, there are a million different ways that you can use blocks!

 

I’ve prepared a lovely series of posts for anyone curious about using yoga blocks.  Here you’ll find ways to use blocks for certain poses, how to change common poses to advance your practice, and of course how to modify many poses to suit your body.

Today we’ll be taking a look at a few different ways to use a set of yoga blocks as you learn to practice inversions.  Before you attempt to go upside down, make sure to get an OK from your doctor and understand the many precautions about an upside down practice which include high blood pressure, headaches and neck or shoulder injury.

Pincha Mayurasana: Place the block between your hands to keep your hands in place as you lift your feet up.

Yoga Blocks

Yoga Blocks

 

Tripod Headstand:  I LOVE this modification!  Place several blocks (enough to support the shoulders) in two stacks.  Place your head right in between and liftoff!  Yoga Blocks

Yoga Blocks

 

Headstand: Place two blocks in front of you to rest your toes on.  This modification will help you get your feet off of the ground if you’re working on lifting up to headstand with straight legs.

Yoga Blocks

Yoga Blocks

 

Stay tuned for more ways to use your yoga blocks!  Coming up you’ll find out how to use blocks for arm balances, restorative yoga, core strength and handstands!  Get your own set of beautifully designed cork yoga blocks so you can advance your practice as well!

If you don’t already have a set of blocks for yourself, you can use the coupon code HOLIDAY for free shipping from my Etsy shop! This coupon is good on domestic shipping only when you buy 2 or more blocks. Offer is valid through the end of the New Year. Order by Monday 12/19 to allow for enough time before Christmas.

Thank you so much to Julie from Inner Sanctum Yoga, the only DuPont, WA Yoga Studio, for posing!