Cute yoga mat? Rolled out. Soft leggings? Pulled on. Fave video workout? Queued up. All that's left to take your at-home yoga flow to the next level is investing in some key props — one of the most versatile ones being a block. You know, one of those medium-sized foam or cork bricks that you've probably seen at studios but may have not gotten up close and personal with (yet). To help get the yoga-block party started, we chatted with a few instructors for the scoop on which blocks to buy and how best to use them.
"I love using yoga blocks to safely enter a posture, whether it is new, advanced, or doesn't naturally support my body," Chicago-based instructor Riviera McCollum tells Refinery29. "Alignment is very important, but looks completely different on every single person — yoga blocks help bridge that gap to make yoga a little more accessible to everyone's unique and nuanced anatomy by bringing the floor closer and/or releasing tension to tight muscles." Click on ahead to discover the six top blocks that made the cut (according to the pros) plus more advice on how you can incorporate them into your own at-home practice.
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Manduka Recycled Foam Yoga Block
"My favorite yoga blocks are the Manduka Recycled Foam Blocks," says New York-based Y7 instructor Kendra Thomas. "They offer the right amount of support without being as hard as other cork and wood blocks."
Tip: Her fave way to incorporate them? "They can be used for everything from Yin yoga to arm balancing."
Manduka recycled foam yoga block, $, available at Manduka
Lululemon Lift & Lengthen Yoga Block
"I use blocks in every part of my class," says New York-based instructor, meditation coach, and doula Amanda Gloria Valdes, who loves Lululemon's marbled foam block for her personal practice.
Tip: "A simple way to use them is to use it to frame the body in a forward fold; for example, a pyramid pose, which is a neutral hip forward fold, can sometimes feel inaccessible if alignment is not guided." Holding the block can help ensure that hips are squared and properly positioned.
lululemon Lift and Lengthen Yoga Block, $, available at lululemon
Everyday Yoga 4 Inch Foam Yoga Block
Everyday Yoga's affordable blocks won't break the bank and come in tons of cute colors to match your mat.
Tip: "Blocks are also a great tool to promote muscle engagement and stability work," adds McCollum. "They can help bring awareness and engagement to specific muscles necessary for advancing your practice."
Everyday Yoga 4 Inch Foam Yoga Block, $, available at Yoga Outlet
Manduka Cork Yoga Block
"These Manduka cork blocks are firm, which I love," says Minneapolis-based instructor Gabrielle Roberts of 612 Jungle.
Tip: "I use blocks in my practice to help 'lift' the floor, or you could think of it as an extension of the arms." Plus, Roberts recommends them for providing comfort and support to ease you into more advanced postures.
Manduka Cork Yoga Block, $, available at Amazon
Fila Yoga Block EVA Foam
Another pose that can be achieved with the help of a block is a variation of downward-facing dog, where you can put the blocks under your hands as you tilt your hips up and back.
Tip: "This is a great option for people who are extremely tight through the hamstrings, hips, and back as it helps them to find a long spine and really feel rooted," explains Thomas.
Fila Yoga Block – EVA Foam Blocks, $, available at Amazon
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