Yoga Blocks for Better Alignment
Article by Phoenix Delray
There are many tools and accessories that are essential in order to achieve correct positions during yoga routines, and these range from mats to bags and balls to blocks. They can facilitate the poses and help yogis (those who practice yoga) achieve correct positions and alignment when it is needed most to get the full benefit from routines.
They are especially helpful when used in standing poses that require one or both hands to be placed flat on the floor, because using the yoga blocks can relieve pressure from the upper body and the arms by shortening the distance that the hands have to go down to. During reclining poses, they are used to support the sacrum. Those yogis that are just starting out often find that the blocks are very useful, as well as those who had become injured in the past because they improve balance and are used as tools to ease users into the poses that require advanced flexibility.
There are many different styles and materials that yoga blocks can be made of. The most common materials include cork, foam, bamboo, and wood. They are usually rectangular in shape and they are about nine inches long by six inches wide. The height can vary, but the average height is four inches. There are other shapes that they can come in such as square, circular, and others, but these are less common. It is usually recommended that beginners start out with the standard size regular sets of blocks, and as a yogi becomes more flexible and attains a greater ability for the exercises, other sizes and shapes can be used. There are many long term experienced yogis that have quite a collection of different blocks, and advanced practitioners even use different combinations of blocks for certain difficult positions.
The best material for yoga blocks for different people depends on the users tastes and preferences. Some like the easy give that foam offers, and others prefer the stability that they get from wood ones. Cork is a very popular material for those who enjoy foams flexibility but want to use a natural material. Foam however is usually the least expensive and is very easy to find, which is partly why it is such a popular choice, especially with novice yogis.
These accessories are used for much more than just yoga. Many personal trainers use the block for exercises like stretches, stomach crunches, push ups, and more. They can help with a more aligned form and can be used under the head during abdominal exercises, providing support. The yoga blocks are also used with lunges and stretches to provide more balance as well.
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