Using Blocks for Yoga Modifications
Blocks are my friend.
Balancing half moon is a challenging pose for me. After years of practice the floor still evades me as I try to reach my fingers down to help with balance. So...I make the floor come to me using a block. Blocks are my favorite prop. Maybe yoga teachers are not supposed to have favorites, but I can admit with full confidence that I do.
Blocks are one of the most versatile props that we have access to in yoga. I feel like they make postures accessible to different body types and ability levels. B.K.S Iyengar, an innovative yoga instructor and all around amazing human being, brought props to modern yoga after working with students, and realizing that he needed to meet his students where they were. This philosophy of yoga for everyone incorporated props and continues to do so today.
So...how can blocks be used? If I had all day I would not be able to list all the ways they can be utilized in yoga. So let’s look at how they can be used in poses, or asanas, that you will practice in almost any yoga class you attend. Keep in mind that blocks can be 3 different heights as well. Judith Lasater, a yoga teacher and another all around amazing human being, named the three heights Momma Bear, Papa Bear, and Baby Bear. Papa Bear is the tallest, Momma Bear is the middle height, and Baby Bear is obviously the shortest.
So I encourage my students to play around to see which height is “just right” for them.
Ways We Use Blocks: (INCLUDE PICTURES OF EACH)
Forward fold: blocks can be placed under the hands to bring the floor to you
Child’s Pose: Place a block under the forehead
Down dog: place a block under each hand
Up Dog: place a block under each hand
Bridge: Placing a block under your sacrum for support
Bound angle: Place blocks under knees to offer support
Again...there are SO MANY ways to use blocks! Blocks are our friends, so go and make some new friends today!