When I first starting practicing yoga, I felt like blocks were a giant pain snoozefest. I felt like they didn't really do anything, and in class, the effort to benefit ratio was awful cuz it seemed like I'd spend half the time just trying to get the positioning just right only to lay back and feel like the block was stabbing me.
Related How to use yoga blocks for flexibility.
After years of playing around with the blocks, I have figured out some ways to use them that I find so helpful to my practice, and thought I'd share three ways I prep for backbends using yoga blocks.
Heart opener 1: To prep, I'll set the blocks at their highest positioning, shoulder distance apart and then rest my elbows on them and lean down. With each exhale, I try to let my head be as heavy as possible and breathe into the armpit/shoulder area. Feels so good! You can stay here as long as you like - I usually try to stick it out for 8 - 10 breaths.
Heart opener 2: This is the baby version of heart opener 3 below, and I'm not going to lie, it's a pain in the ass the first couple times trying to figure out how to come into it, but once you get it, you're golden. Ok here we go. Take the first block, and turn it on its long side, with the thin side in line with your spine. You'll want it to play with it to see what feels best, but I like it between my shoulder blades. The second block should be the long way, thin side facing up, under your head like a pillow. Ease yourself down and relax into it. So, so good. But after a few minutes, your eyes might pop up and you'll say to yourself, "Self? I think I'm ready to take it to the next step."
Heart opener 3: If that's the case, all you'll have to do is rotate the blocks so they're at their highest points, and then ease yourself back down again. This is hands down my faaaaavorite yin heart opener. I'll stay here for 5 - 8 minutes before doing something a little more flowy. So good.
A tip: If you are fresh outta yoga blocks, try some stacked VHS videos. Haha, no? Fresh outta those too? How about some books? Dvd cases? Get creative, friends!
If you're in the market to buy some yoga blocks. I recommend these cork ones.
Let's talk How do you feel about blocks? Do you know how to use them? Do you ever use them in your practice?
Related A 20 minute vinyasa practice with a block.
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