This $10 accessory improved my yoga routine

I’ve only taken a few yoga classes over the years, so I’m by no means an expert. However, since I bought my peloton bike, I resumed the course of things. I started taking morning classes over the weekend to stretch my body and prepare for the day. However, there was one accessory that almost every class required that I hadn’t used before.

No, it’s not one of best yoga mats, it’s actually something much smaller that’s designed to help those with less reach and flexibility. Naturally, I fell into this category, so I went ahead and purchased this option. Here is what happened.

My new favorite yoga accessory

The prop I’m talking about is actually a pair of yoga blocks. These are by no means new, but if you’re a novice yogi like me, they may have slipped under your radar until now.

Yoga blocks are basically firm blocks of foam that are used to support your frame during a workout. They are usually sold in pairs and measure approximately 4 x 6 x 9 inches, although there are smaller and larger blocks available to accommodate different heights. The material can sometimes vary too – some higher end yoga blocks are made of cork or even wood. The idea is that they should be strong enough to support your weight, but flexible enough to grip comfortably in certain poses.

A wooden yoga block used during a stretch

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Yoga blocks are designed to raise the height from the floor during a workout. You can use them flat, sideways or standing up for three levels of height. You typically grab them with each hand for easier reach during floor and standing poses, but they can also be used to support other areas of your body, such as your hips in pigeon pose or your lower back in some backbends. They are meant to add comfort to a yoga workout, making certain poses easier to perform – ideal if you struggle with flexibility or feel tension in your muscles. That’s why I liked the idea of ​​using them in my morning yoga classes.

My Thoughts on Yoga Blocks

Prior to investing in my yoga blocks, I found many of the poses in my platoon classes difficult to perform and almost painful, especially if I was trying to fit into a class. On more than one occasion, I ended up waiting for the next pose to begin before continuing the session. The instructor often said you can use books as an alternative, but that didn’t seem like a stable option unless used flat. Rather than damaging the spine of my favorite novels, I opted to invest in the real thing.

A woman practicing yoga in her bedroom using yoga blocks

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Peloton used its own brand of yoga blocks during class of course, but at $30 I decided to find a cheaper option on Amazon. There are plenty of choices online for around $10, some of which may come with other useful accessories like blankets and yoga straps.

At first I felt quite unstable leaning on the blocks. They were fine to use when flat, but things got a little shaky when on their side or standing up – I almost fell over one and almost gave up on them altogether. But, as the Peloton classes kept asking for them, I kept using them.

My confidence grew and I found that certain poses became more achievable. In fact, I felt comfortable enough to hold certain poses much longer than before. I’m hoping that as I get used to the postures, I can eventually touch the ground with my palm without blocking completely, but until then they have become an essential part of my practice.

A woman practicing a standing yoga pose using a yoga block

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

In terms of durability, I admit you will see some wear and tear. The foam on mine is already showing puncture marks from nails and grease and dirt is building up quickly too. Although you can easily clean them with soapy water and a microfiber cloth. It’s also worth mentioning that yoga blocks can attract pets – my cat left her own claw marks and our editor’s dog had a chewing session with her cork block. So ideally keep the blocks out of reach of furry family members.

For such a reasonable price, however, these blocks are easily replaceable and I definitely recommend them for those who lack flexibility when it comes to yoga. The difference they can make in comfort adds to the fun of the class and they can really help those who are new to the poses.

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