Ease Into Improved Flexibility
It is important to focus on proper alignment when practicing yoga in order to prevent injury. As much as you want to slide into a split or open your hips for a beautiful expression of x pose, sometimes it just ain’t happening sister. Well, at least not yet. While you are still working to improve your flexibility, use a yoga block to find proper alignment. For example, the hips and knees often fight back when you wish to come into pigeon pose. By lifting the hip of the forward leg, you can learn this pose with correct form.
Example: Pigeon Pose
- Place the edge of the block under your sit bone
- Allow your pelvis to tilt forward
- Shine your heart forward
- Suction cup your fingertips to the ground under your shoulders
- Rotate the inner thigh of the back leg up
Support Yourself In Restorative Postures
Struggling in a pose that is supposed to be restorative is a no-no. Yoga props are most often used during restorative practices, such as yin yoga. Using a yoga block is a great way to support your practice both figuratively and literally. This is especially true for poses that target achy joints and “bad backs."
Example: Supported Bridge Pose
- Lay on your back
- Allow your knees to bend and face up as you plant your feet on the floor
- Press into the soles of your feet to raise your hips
- Slide the yoga block under your sacrum
- Come out of this pose slowly, gently lowering your spine down to the floor
Blocks are an awesome tool for getting the point across. There is a lot going on in a yoga class. Therefore, clearing your mind can seem like a sick joke. Especially when you are trying to visualize “spinning your inner thigh up as your quads raise away from your knee caps." Wait, what? Yoga blocks help you understand which muscles need to be activated. This will benefit your alignment, improve your strength, and allow you to sink deeper into challenging poses.
Example: Chair Pose
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
- Place the block between your inner thighs (the shorter width)
- Raise your arms overhead
- Bend your knees
- Sink down into an imaginary chair
- Squeeze the block, activating your inner thighs