And while there are a few general guidelines we can follow, our personal preferences are often dictated by our own experiences and preferences.
It is especially true when it comes to yoga blocks.
Yoga blocks are a staple in most studios. They are used to prop up the spine and support the neck and head. However, not all yoga blocks are created equal.
There are variations in the quality of a block, right from its material made to its weight and dimension.
Let us find out which materials make yoga blocks and provide the most support and stability. Then, read on to find out which yoga blocks are best for you.
What Are Yoga Blocks?
Yoga blocks are helping devices used for yoga practices that support the spine and deal with neck and head stress and strain. Also, they help you with your alignment.
Probably, they are made of sturdy materials such as wood, cork, foam, bamboo, and other natural substances.
Yoga blocks became popular after the yoga boom in the 70s. Also, there are specific yoga poses, for example, “Paschimottanasana” or the forward bend pose, where you can use them significantly.
Most yoga practitioners use yoga blocks in different poses from beginner to advanced levels.
Types Of Yoga Blocks
Yoga blocks differ in shape, size, and material used. Besides, there are different yoga blocks for the upper and lower bodies. Also, there are blocks that you can use for your back and neck.
Yoga blocks come in various shapes, and these are the four main types:
- Rectangular Blocks: They have a uniform size, height, and width. You can use them in various yoga poses like the Downward Dog, where they are placed under the heels of your hands to elevate the hips higher.
In addition, a block is placed lengthwise between your palms and soles in poses like Cobra Pose. Furthermore, they are very comfortable to use.
- Cube Blocks: Cube blocks have a tapered end, like a pyramid. They are used in poses such as the Triangle Pose by placing them under the heels of your hands. Also, they are used in poses like the Head-to-Knee Pose by placing them under the knees.
- Brick Blocks: Brick blocks are made of sturdy natural materials. They have rough edges and are rectangular. They are great for poses like the Head-to-Knee Pose and the Supine Twist.
- Egg-shaped block: They are used in poses like the Goddess pose and the Child’s pose. They have a rounded shape and are stable and comfortable to use.
- Hollow semi-circle blocks: Semi-circle blocks support various poses like backbends and twists. Hollow blocks have a concave side, allowing your head to relax into it.
Yoga blocks also come in different sizes. Among them, the standard dimensions are 4″ x 6″ x 9″ and 3″ x 6″ x 9″. Besides, they also differ in height.
For example, if you have short arms, you can use a block which is 6" or 9", whereas if you are tall and have longer arms, then the blocks of size 4" to 3" would be perfect.
You can also use blocks shorter than 4″ x 6″ and taller than 3″ x 6 inches depending on your height.
Material For Yoga Blocks
Wood Yoga Blocks
They are the most popular and have a pleasant natural smell that lets you feel good while using them.
Moreover, there are eco-friendly yoga blocks available, which consist of recycled wood. Wood yoga blocks are made of pine, bamboo, or birch.
Yoga blocks made up of wood are sturdy and last for years. They are also lightweight, which makes them easy to transport.
Even in 2021, most yogis opt for yoga blocks made up of natural wood because they are most durable.
In addition, they are excellent in building strength and flexibility, helping you with your alignment.
- Sturdy, long-lasting product.
- Lightweight and sturdy.
- Great for arm balances and inversions.
- Easy to clean.
Keep In Mind
- Heavy to transport.
- You need to be very careful when using wooden blocks.
- No matter how good and durable the wood is, you still can’t use it on concrete floors.
Cork Yoga Blocks
Cork yoga blocks are made of cork, a sturdy and durable material. In addition, they are lighter weight, which makes them easy to transport.
Usually, they have a smooth texture, and they come in various colours. They also have a great natural smell which you can enjoy while using them.
Cork blocks are the best because they offer the maximum amount of stability and support while providing relief to the body at the same time. In addition, these blocks are eco-friendly and will last for years if you take good care of them.
You can place a cork block under your spine in various poses like the Cobra Pose and the Downward Dog.
You can also use it under your hips while in the forward bend pose or under your knees while performing a reclining twist.
They are great for any yoga practitioner – both beginners and advanced practitioners, eco-conscious yogi as they will provide you with the best support and stability.
- Eco-friendly product.
- You don’t have to worry about them getting destroyed.
- They provide the most support and stability.
- Comfortable grip and carry.
- Non-slippery stable surface.
- Skin-friendly surface.
Keep in mind:
- Hard to clean
- Heavy to carry and may start crumbling.
- Not suitable for hard surfaces.
Foam Yoga Blocks
Foam yoga blocks are affordable, lightweight, and sturdy. These blocks are made of recycled material and have a non-slip surface, making them great for the neck, spine, and knees.
These blocks are great for beginner yogis because they aid in building strength, flexibility, and balance. You can also use them for arm balances. They are softer and squishier than other yoga blocks, great for beginners.
On the other hand, advanced yogis use foam yoga blocks for resting their palms when in poses such as the Cobra Pose and the Downward Dog.
They are convenient to carry around, and you don't have to worry about them breaking. Instead, you can clean it with a cloth or a sponge and look new again.
- Budget-friendly product.
- Lightweight, durable and portable blocks.
- Great for beginners.
- Soft, squishy, and non-slip surface.
Keep In Mind:
- The only disadvantage of foam yoga blocks is that they are not suitable for hard surfaces.
- They may start breaking after some time if you use them on hard floors.
- Even though they are made of plastic, they still maintain the look and feel of cork blocks.
- The least eco-friendly as it is made of recycled materials.
The Difference Between Cork And Foam Yoga Blocks
Here are some differences between foam yoga blocks and cork yoga blocks:
Are You Going to Travel With It?
If you are going to travel with your blocks, your choice should be on the lighter material. So, if you are looking for a travel-friendly yoga block, the most recommended option would be foam.
Because the foam blocks are much lighter in weight than the others, they will be easy to carry around.
Moreover, the cork yoga blocks are incredibly bulky and heavy, so if you are looking for something light and handy, then the foam yoga blocks are more suitable for you.
Do Looks Matter?
Shopping for a yoga block can be a hassle as there are many different yoga blocks, and you don’t know which one is the best. But, when you use them, what matters more is how they feel rather than their looks.
In addition, yoga blocks manufactured from cork or foam are made of recycled materials, which means they are non-toxic and durable to use.
Hence, whether it is a cork or foam block, you can rest assured that you can use them for years.
What Type of Class Do You Attend?
Depending on the class you attend, you will choose a different type of yoga block. For example, Foam yoga blocks are suitable for Hatha and Kundalini classes, and cork yoga blocks are ideal for Ashtanga.
So, if you are looking to attend an advanced class, the best choice would be cork yoga blocks, as they offer more security than foam yoga blocks.
On the other hand, if you attend a beginner class and want something easy to use, foam yoga blocks would be your best choice.
Do You Sweat A lot?
If you are going to use your yoga blocks for a long time, sweating is inevitable. So,
make sure that the material you choose is not prone to discolouring after getting wet. Cork and foam blocks are suitable for people who sweat a lot because they absorb moisture quickly.
The material of foam yoga blocks is also skin-friendly and waterproof. So, even though it absorbs sweat, it won’t cause rashes or marks on your skin.
Benefits of Using Cork Blocks
Cork blocks are a great addition to any household, especially those who take different yoga classes.
There are many benefits associated with using the cork yoga blocks, which you can enjoy either at home or in a class. They are:
Cork blocks are not only excellent for the hamstrings, but they also provide extra comfort for your back. In addition, they are non-slip and will provide you with maximum support.
Ease of Use
Cork blocks have a very smooth texture that makes them easy to grip, and you can use them comfortably even if your hands are sweaty or messy.
Cork blocks are more durable than foam yoga blocks because they are made from recycled materials and will not collapse in the middle of a class, no matter how much you use them.
Comfortable For All Yoga Poses
Regardless of the type of yoga poses you perform, when you use cork yoga blocks, you will achieve better stability and support than you would without them.
Cork is light in weight and durable, which makes them very portable. You can easily carry them around with you, wherever you go.
Benefits of Using Foam Blocks
There are many benefits associated with using foam yoga blocks, one of which is that they are:
Easy to use
Foam yoga blocks are easy to use, and you can perform all your yoga poses with them. In addition, they are mild on the hands and feet, which means they won’t cause any irritation or pain while you use them.
Foam yoga blocks are very lightweight, and you will not feel the weight in your hands when you wear them.
Foam yoga blocks are very portable, and they can easily be carried around with you while you are at home or in your class.
Foam yoga blocks are also ergonomic because they come in different sizes, so you will be able to find a perfect fit for your hands.
Easy to Clean
They are easy to clean because they are made of recyclable materials. You can wipe them with a cloth, and they will look brand new again.
Yoga blocks are an excellent tool for beginners because they allow you to focus on breathing while practising poses.
They come in different shapes and sizes, but cork and foam yoga blocks are the most common ones.
Cork blocks are made from natural materials and are available at any yoga studio or online. Foam blocks are made from polyurethane foam and are available at most health stores.
Both cork and foam blocks offer a stable base for beginners to practice poses on, but each has advantages and disadvantages.
Hence, choose the yoga block that best suits your needs and select a style that works for you.