Yoga Blocks - Building Your Practice, One Block at a Time

Yoga Blocks - Building Your Practice, One Block at a Time

Yoga props are an incredible way to take the physical aspect of yoga to the next level – they help with balance, flexibility and allow you to find proper alignment and engagement with the body. Yoga Blocks are the most versatile yogi tool, working to intensify or modify virtually every pose. Whether you’re looking to feel supported in a balancing shape, to build strength, or to bring the ground closer to you for a deeper stretch, blocks are your best friend. They’re also great in assisting those working with injuries or other limitations, helping to modify and make the practice more accessible.


When building your home practice, start with two sturdy blocks, such as the Evoke 3 inch or 4 inch Yoga Blocks. These two blocks will offer you a diverse range of options to incorporate into your practice. But how to choose one?

First off, there’s the material: The material is a personal preference, whether you like the lightweight feel of foam, like the Evoke’s 3” or 4” yoga blocks, or if you’re looking for a slightly sturdier, weighted block, like Evoke’s Cork Yoga Block. Foam blocks are great if you practice a lot of restorative postures where you’re resting all your body weight onto the blocks, because the foam is a more comfortable support system. Cork blocks, on the other hand, are great for strength building practices. Their weight allows you to use them as an actual weight, and the material feels a bit sturdier and easier to grip, especially with some tricky balancing shapes.

Blocks offer different heights: The beauty of blocks is their versatility. Whether you get a 3” or 4” block, they can be positioned on the three different heights; low, medium, and high. The lowest height provides the most stable base with a larger surface area to put weight on, whereas the highest height can feel the least sturdy, but is great for bridging the gap between the ground and your body when flexibility or balance is at play. The second height is somewhere in between. You can also stack the blocks for even more options, hence having two is so handy! As your practice evolves, you’re able to use them on different heights to challenge yourself more or as your range and flexibility increases. The examples below offer suggestions of what height to play with depending on the modification, but ultimately, it’s a personal preference that you’ll get used to once you start using these props on a regular basis.

Here are some of the many different ways to use your yoga blocks for flexibility, balance, alignment, strength work, and restorative purposes.

Yoga Blocks for FLEXIBILITY

Yoga Squat - stack two blocks, on their lowest height, and lower down into a wide yogi squat, allowing your sit bones to make contact with the blocks. This modification makes the shape more accessible for tight hips, as opposed to having the hips suspended away from the ground, and easier to focus on opening the chest. Alternatively, you can choose to use one block on any height if you feel supported enough.

Pigeon Pose - Support the floating hip with a block on the lowest or medium height, providing support for tight hips and pelvis and decreasing potential pain in the knees. You can also use the blocks to support your head in this shape, helping release tension in the neck and shoulders.

Extended Side Angle - Place a block on any height inside the front foot, under your bottom hand, allowing you to get a little deeper in this hip opener as you increase flexibility in this hip stretch. The block stops you from completely collapsing through the side ribs, or from overstretching the inner groin, staying slightly lifted through the chest and obliques. OR: For an added challenge, try holding the block between the hands, lifting the torso and extended arms on an angle, challenging the core and activating shoulders and back muscles.

Yoga Blocks for BALANCE 

Half Moon - place a block on the highest height under your supporting hand to bring the ground closer to you and to create a stable base from where you can lift and open your chest as you stack shoulders and hips. Working on this balancing shape is tricky, so be patient, and over time you might lower the height of the block, or even float the bottom hand completely.

Tree Pose - try standing on the block on its lowest height, activating the calf and ankle muscles that work to stabilize you. Play with any variation of tree pose. Alternatively, if balance is still tricky or you’re working with an injury, you can use the block under the lifted foot. This way, as you place that sole inside your standing calf, you’re able to lightly balance your toes on that block. Shift less and less weight from that balanced foot onto the standing foot as you start to build strength and form.


Warrior 3 - start with two blocks on their highest height in front of you. Bring your hands onto the blocks, under shoulders, and begin lifting one leg into a Warrior 3 alignment. Use the blocks to help ensure spine and hips are neutral, internally rotating the lifting leg so the toes turn down. As you feel stable and engaged, start to take the hands off the blocks and balance. Up for even more of a challenge? Place the block, on its lowest height, on your low back and keep it steady as you continue to balance. The placement of the block ensures that the hips stay neutral.

Chair Pose - place one block on the lowest height between the inner thighs, squeezing as you lower into a chair pose. The prop helps remind you to activate the inner thighs, building muscle memory to support the pelvis, hips, knees, and lower back. You can also try holding a block on its longest length between the hands overhead as you get used to what shoulder distance should feel like in this shape.


Warrior 2 - use two blocks (heavier cork ones work best) as weights. Hold the blocks on their longest edge, with your middle finger straight ahead and your palms facing down. Extend your arms in your Warrior 2 and feel the burn, activating the upper back, the shoulders, and the forearms.

Boat Pose Russian Twists - looking for a bonus core burn? Situate yourself in a boat pose while holding a block out in front of you. It can be on any height that’s comfortable for your shoulders. While keeping your core and pelvis stable, rotate the upper body from side to side, reaching the block towards each outer hip as you twist through obliques. Toes can be on the ground or lifted for even more of a challenge.


Supported Recline Butterfly: Bring a block under each of your open knees on the lowest or medium height. Allow the outer thighs to relax over the props, while the inner thighs and groin get a gentle opening, thus reducing sensation and allowing you to relax into the shape.

Supported Backbend: Place one block on its medium height, length wise, under your shoulder blades and another block on the highest height under your head to support your skull as you recline back. Shift until you’re comfortable, and then relax into this gentle chest and upper back opener. Legs can be bent to support you or extended if it feels okay in the low back.

Shavasana: For your final resting shape, try placing a block under each knee, on its lowest height, to help decompress your spine, taking pressure off the low back. Alternatively, try resting a block on your belly during as a tool to stay focused through the sensation of your breath gently lifting and dropping the block with each inhale and exhale.

Hopefully these examples give you a peak behind the curtain of how helpful and integral blocks are along your yoga journey. These are only a few of the many fun ways to incorporate yoga blocks, but they all work to achieve proper alignment, deeper stretches, more restoration, and added strength work. So be sure to keep these close by and see how your yoga practice can be brought to the next level!

Author: Madison Fruitman, Certified Yoga Instructor


Instagram: @madisonfruitmanyoga

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Consult a physician prior to commencing an exercise program. If, at any time during exercise, you feel faint, dizzy, or experience pain, stop and consult your physician