Whether propped under the hands for Downward-Facing Dog or positioned under the lower back for Fish pose, a yoga block provides support and stability for your yoga workout. Although many people assume yoga blocks are only for beginners, they can actually be incorporated into a variety of advanced yoga postures. When selecting a yoga block, take note of its dimensions to ensure you select a proper fit for your body.
The exact dimensions of a yoga block vary from one manufacturer to another. However, most blocks feature relatively similar dimensions. When positioned with the largest surface against the ground, yoga blocks typically have a length of 9 inches, width of 5 to 6 inches and height of 3 to 4 inches. For people with relatively small body frames and small hands, a yoga block with smaller dimensions will likely provide the easiest grip. However, keep in mind that yoga blocks can be used three different ways. They can be laid flat with the largest surface against the ground; tipped to the side with its long, narrow surface against the ground; or propped upright with its smallest surface against the ground. This versatility allows for three different heights as you move through your yoga session.
A yoga block's material plays a significant role in determining its weight. The most affordable options are made with foam. Although lightweight, most foam blocks are still sturdy and durable enough to support your body during practice. As an added benefit, they are also quite comfortable. Foam yoga blocks generally weigh about 3 to 12 oz., depending on the type of foam used. Slightly heavier than foam blocks, cork yoga blocks generally weight about 1 to 2 lbs. Also sturdy and comfortable, cork blocks provide slightly better grip or traction for your hands and the ground. Yoga blocks are also available in wood or bamboo styles. These blocks can easily support your weight and remain durable through many years of yoga practice. However, they are slightly heavier. Hollow wooden blocks are generally about 2 to 3 lbs. each, although solid blocks can easily be twice as heavy.
Yoga blocks are an excellent addition to any beginner, intermediate or advanced yoga practice. Quite simply, yoga blocks are used to support the body during various yoga poses. This extra support allows for greater relaxation and the prevention of injury. They are often used to support the hands, knees, legs or lower back. For example, use the block to support your hands during a standing forward bend or right angle pose. Yoga blocks can also be used to enhance yoga postures. For example, stand the block upright at the soles of your feet during the seated forward bend. Rather than grasping onto the soles of your feet, you must stretch further to grasp the yoga block.
Before purchasing a yoga block, check its stability and quality. The material should be comfortable, yet slightly textured for gripping purposes. Regardless of its material, the block should be sturdy enough to support your weight. Before purchasing the block, press down on it quite firmly and observe its reaction. If it compresses too much or sags deeply in the middle, it will likely not support your weight adequately.