Today we will be looking at some block (also referred to as brick) yoga exercises that I’m sure you will find very easy.
Thanks to the immense health benefits enjoyed by yoga practitioners, this discipline has spread like wildfire across several different countries over the last few years.
Here is a related article for beginner yoga exercises.
Yoga can increase body flexibility, increase muscle tone, and improve body posture, thus improving one’s physical abilities in general. It can be practiced by people from all age groups to improve their health.
Yoga programs are of several different types with different levels utilizing exercises with varying degrees of difficulty. Some yoga exercises may require the usage of an important accessory pertaining to this discipline – yoga blocks.
We will look at several popular yoga exercises that are done with the help of blocks.
Select the Right Block for Your Needs
Before we explain the most popular yoga exercises that are performed with the help of a block, it is important to clarify how they ought to be selected and what they are used for. A yoga block is an accessory, which helps people perform different yoga exercises.
They are recommended for beginners, people with physical limitations, and for advanced yoga practitioners looking to practice challenging postures.
Yoga blocks are used to support the following body areas: the hands, hips, back, and the head. When determining the type of yoga block, you must take the following factors into consideration. Wooden blocks are more durable and stronger but also heavier and slippery if your hands are even slightly wet. Foam blocks are the most popular yoga blocks since they are cheap and lighter compared to wooden blocks.
However, they are less durable and more prone to accumulating dirt.
Matsyasana or The Fish Using Yoga Blocks
You will need two yoga blocks to practice this pose. Sit down and place the first yoga block behind you. Ensure it is at the shoulder blade level where you can lean back to support yourself. Place one yoga block behind another, to lend support to your head. Alternatively, you can also go with just one block and place the hands behind your head.
To practice matsyasana with yoga blocks, here are the steps you need to follow:
- When the yoga blocks are placed correctly, the body ought to be thrown back over the blocks, ensuring that the region between your shoulder blades and your head is supported by the first and second blocks, respectively.
- Keep the arms stretched by your body’s sides.
- Bend your knees but keep it relaxed if you are a beginner. Advanced practitioners with more experience and flexibility can stretch their legs more.
- Hold this position for half a minute.
Leg stretch is ideal for stretching the hamstrings and quadriceps, which are two important muscle groups in your legs. Put the block right before you and stand. Stretch the legs apart slowly until you reach a limit beyond which you cannot go anyway further with your legs open.
Keep descending slowly until your head can be rested on the block right before you. Your hands should grip your own heels while your head’s upper part rests on the block. This exercise can be done thrice a day, provided the ascent & descent stages are done slowly without any haste.
Utthita Trikonasana or Triangle Pose
You can practice this pose to stretch your back, arms, and legs. Here is how to practice this yoga position using a yoga block:
- Spread your legs out while standing.
- Place the block on your side near your left foot. This also ought to be the most forward foot.
- Stretch the arms on your sides and attempt to reach the yoga block using the other hand (the right hand) without turning or stretching your trunk or bending your arms.
- Perform the same posture with the other arm and leg.
- Repeat three times with both legs
Yoga Block Shoulder Stretch
First, kneel and support your buttocks on your heels. The block should be placed directly before you, ensuring that you can easily rest the elbows on the top of the block upon extending your arms and body forward, thus leaving the head underneath your arms.
Bend your arms at the elbow and join your hands behind your head, which puts them right near the beginning of the back and base of the neck. You can hold this position for 60 seconds.
Relaxation and Final Stretch with Yoga Blocks
You will need 2 yoga blocks for this posture. Place one on the other with your buttocks being supported by them in a seated posture. However, keep your heels right at the same level as your buttocks – just as if the latter were resting on the former.
Hold this position for ten seconds. Proceed to remove the first yoga block and hold this position for 10 more seconds. Then, remove the second yoga block and hold this position for 10 additional seconds with your heels fully supporting your glutes.
You can read this article for more information on yoga blocks.