If you love both yoga and traveling or going out, your dilemma might be, “how can I carry a yoga block or a yoga mat with me?” If we guess it right, then you don’t have to worry. We’ve got you covered!
Honestly, yoga blocks should be the least priority to bring on a trip among all the other yoga staples. It will certainly take up some space in your luggage, but if you think that you still have some space or if you’re driving, then you should bring your yoga blocks with you.
There are light-weight and travel-friendly yoga blocks in the market. Or if you don’t want to spend money on such, then it is time for you to be creative. There are some yoga block alternatives that you can try. Ready to talk about blocks? Let’s go!
What Is A Yoga Block?
Yoga blocks are perhaps the most important yoga props used to make poses easier or more difficult, help align your body, and release tension. They are made of durable material, such as foam, cork, wood, or bamboo, and are often formed like rectangular bricks.
One of the simplest functions of a yoga block is to shorten the distance between you and the ground, thus facilitating and modifying yoga poses to match your degree of flexibility.
It is sometimes used as an extension of the arms, but it may also support the back, the head, and the hips to help the body settle in a position.
What Is Yoga Block For?
Some people think that there isn’t much that yoga blocks can do, but they are wrong. There are yoga block benefits that you can get when you use them, just like the following.
Assist in establishing correct alignment.
Many of us do not have the flexibility to completely demonstrate certain yoga poses, such as the Side Angle Pose. If we are not flexible enough, it will cause the chest to collapse and the shoulders to be rounded. By putting your lower hand on a yoga block, you can still reap the advantages of your pose while preserving spinal integrity and an open front body.
It helps in building strength for more advanced positions.
Strong upper-body and core strength are needed for certain arm-balancing poses. But it can be daunting for beginners to raise their feet even though they have enough strength. So, to develop confidence, you can put a block under your feet and keep raising one foot at a time. You can also opt to place the block under your forehead for additional help.
Aid in preventing injuries.
When doing some yoga poses (especially the sitting ones), sitting on a yoga block will spare you the uncomfortable sensation in your knees while gently stretching your thighs simultaneously. And you can slowly work towards the full asana without undue strain and risk of injury by adjusting the block’s height.
What To Consider When Choosing the Perfect Yoga Block
You might be wondering about what to consider when buying yoga blocks since every one of them looks the same. If you are still not sure which is which, you might want to consider these three things:
As a reference point in choosing your yoga block’s size, use your flexibility level and hand size. Get a larger-sized block if you’re a tall person with limited versatility and big hands. If you’re a little more on the flexible side and have smaller hands, you can opt to get a smaller block to make the grip more secure.
Not that it really matters, but as yoga evolved, so is the shape of the blocks. Usually, it is rectangular in shape, but there are other shapes available too.
The shapes are also designed for a certain pose. For example, the egg-shaped block is handy for reclining postures and backbends because of the curved form. Another one is the hollow semi-circle blocks are perfect for balancing the arm.
Wood, cork, and foam are the usual materials that companies use when making a yoga block. Their materials will change their weight, durability, sweat-absorption, rigidity, and affordability. The type of classes or style of yoga you practice, as well as your budget and personal preference, will determine your choice of a yoga block.
Aside from the three listed above, it would be best if you also determined how heavy the blocks are, how long they can last, and whether the block will hold up your weight in arm balances.
Lastly, if you are the kind of yoga enthusiast that loves going out or traveling and would want to bring your yoga gear is, you should consider if the yoga block is convenient to carry anywhere.
Yoga Blocks Alternative
As we mentioned, yoga blocks aren’t the priority to bring when going out or traveling because it takes up some space in your luggage. Although you could actually practice yoga without it, we cannot deny the fact that blocks make some yoga poses easier.
So, you are torn between bringing it with you or not. Did you know that there are some yoga blocks that you can use when you are not inside the yoga studio?
Here are some alternatives you can use:
- A surface like a low table or chair can suffice if the block provides support for the hand in a standing posture.
- Oftentimes, a step in your home will work if it will be used under your foot.
- A large book can do the magic if the block is needed to be placed under you for hip or back support.
Note: If a series needs two blocks of equal height, you will have a harder time finding an alternative for them.
The Bottom Line
Yoga blocks aren’t considered the most important yoga staple out there, but it is surely helpful. You just need to be wise when choosing one, especially the travel-friendly ones.
READ ALSO: Do You Need a Yoga Mat: When and How to Practice Without Any?