If you are searching around for the ideal yoga block to buy, this probably means you are either a beginner who wants to be well-equipped when starting out, or it means you are a veteran participant in classes or private practice who wants to expand their capability.
For either scenario, a lightweight and sturdy yoga block is a great prop to invest in for taking your yoga to the next level.
Yoga blocks come in a range of sizes so it's fairly straightforward to find one that's suitable for your needs - just make sure you buy one that fits comfortably in your hands.
A cheap and basic block will cost around £10 but a deluxe block, made from top quality materials can cost £20 or more. The most common block is made of various types of foam - but there are other options which are made from cork, bamboo and even wood.
There are many eco-friendly options available now that more people or committed to caring for our environment. Cork is considered more eco-friendly than some foam rubber blocks because it is a more natural material that requires less processing and no dye.
Yoga blocks - sometimes referred to as bricks - are available in just about every colour you can think of including blue, green, yellow, red, black, white, cream, brown, purple and pink.
These blocks and bricks are excellent for use in styles of yoga that require extensive use of props to carry out impressive and complex poses, including Lyengar yoga.
How often you will use a block in your class depends largely on the type of yoga you are practising, how advanced you are, and what poses you will be learning. The yoga block is used by beginners and experts alike - for very different reasons.
Beginners will normally use a block because it can add badly- needed support and reinforcement to their poses. If, for example, you have limited flexibility and mobility in the early days, you may have trouble touching the ground when you bend over - a block can help you out in this scenario if you place it on the floor, above your outstretched hands.
When you are starting out, a block can offer support without you needing to change the essence of a pose. For example, a beginner may have trouble with a pose that requires you to bend at the waist, turn, and place your hand on the ground. This should be done without bending your arms and legs too much, and a beginner may struggle getting a hand to reach the floor.
This is a great example where a block can come to your aid because, without the support of your hand on the floor, you will probably shake a bit and struggle to find stability. The block can be placed between your hand and the floor, and used for support until your flexibility and strength improve and you can reach all the way.
Blocks are also great when you are required to lie on your back and your neck needs to be supported - a block is a much more stable option than simply using a rolled up towel or other makeshift support.
Yoga poses come in almost countless combinations of arm, leg, head and spine positions. When you first take up yoga classes there will probably be many poses that will seem almost impossible to accomplish - that's where yoga props such as blocks and bolsters can offer plenty of assistance.
Later, when you have used props to help you build up your muscle strength and flexibility, you will be able to progress to the intermediate and advanced levels where you will take on even more challenging poses.
No matter what your level of expertise, a block is a great yoga prop to have and, if you look after it properly, it will serve you faithfully for years.