How to Use Yoga Blocks? The Beginner’s Guide

Are you tired of doing yoga and still experiencing pain in your joints and muscles? Prolonged stress in those areas of the body can cause damage even to advanced practitioners. Not offering your body the right support can prevent you from proper alignment during your yoga practice.

There is an easy solution to all of that. By incorporating yoga blocks into your daily routine, you can help your hips, knees, and spine achieve the necessary stability they need to complete the correct alignment and improve flexibility.

​In this article, I will explain how to use yoga blocks to improve your poses and build upper body strength to advance your posture even more.

Why Should You Use Yoga Blocks?

Why should you use yoga blocks

Yoga blocks are a crucial component of every good yoga routine. For beginners, they can help advance to the next level and develop more muscle strength. They are an excellent tool that can help you achieve the necessary balance and help you extend your posture even more.

With these foam blocks, you can make every pose much more comfortable and easier to achieve. By correctly balancing your lower back, you can gain advanced yoga poses such as the bridge pose.

Types of Yoga Blocks

Types of Yoga Blocks

If you deep dive into the history of yoga props, more specifically yoga blocks, you will learn that these props were carved out of wood. Even though wooden blocks are still used today, the more popular versions of these yoga props are foam and cork blocks.

Because of different materials, their cost, use, and durability vary. If unsure what yoga block you should use, you can always ask your yoga trainer. This also depends on your budget and how much you can afford.

Wood Blocks

Wood blocks are often made from bamboo trees. However, many wooden blocks are poplar, birch, balsa, maple, and even pine. The harder the wood is, the more durable it will be.

Although wooden blocks last a lifetime, they can be pretty costly. And depending on the type of wood they’re made of, they can make you slip and cause injuries to your wrists. They might not be suitable for restorative yoga or any type of yoga that requires you to rest your body weight on them.

If you want to use wooden blocks despite their notoriety for being a bit uncomfortable, I recommend placing some kind of padding on them so that you can ease the stress.

Foam Blocks

If you ask me, foam blocks are the best yoga blocks you can use. They are made out of a soft material called EVA foam. EVA foam is also the type of foam a yoga mat is made of. This type of yoga mat is not only lightweight but is also durable and relatively cheap. 

Foam blocks are the most commonly used type of yoga block. By using this type of yoga block, you will notice a significant difference in your muscles, shoulder blades, belly, and other body parts most commonly used when yoga in a studio.

Cork Blocks

Cork Yoga Blocks are the least known type of yoga block. To be honest, cork blocks are the right thing if you’re looking for an alternative to wooden blocks. They’re similarly harvested, yet they offer a softer approach when doing asanas.

They don’t slip when wet, and you can even stack them up on top of each other with ease.

The only downside to cork yoga blocks is that they’re pretty moisture absorbent and might begin to smell after using them. Not only that, but they can easily dent and can crumble into parts.

You have to constantly clean and take care of them.

Yoga Block Sizes

Generally, you can find yoga blocks in only three sizes. You can pick the size depending on your age, fitness level, height, and many other factors.

Three-Inch Yoga Blocks

These small blocks are made for petite people that have smaller frames. The other sizes are often too big for them, and they can’t comfortably do the asanas.  But this doesn’t have to be the case.

You can use smaller blocks to do yoga poses, such as Utkatasana and Tadasana. These types of blocks are most often used in restorative yoga.

Four Inch Yoga Blocks

This is the most standard size of yoga blocks. Many yogis recommend using these sizes when doing almost any asana. You can use them while doing the plank pose, bound angle pose, and other low back poses.

Five Inch Yoga Blocks

The five-inch yoga block is ideal for taller practitioners. The standard sizes can be too uncomfortable for taller people. Thus this is why these yoga blocks are necessary.

However, even if you’re not a tall person, you can still use these blocks. They can be a good way of extending and improving your flexibility.

How to Use Yoga Blocks – Here Are 12 Common Yoga Poses You Can Modify with Blocks

How to use yoga blocks to add length

  • Camel

The camel pose is one of the most accessible yoga poses. With this pose, you can extend your spine without putting stress on your arms for support.

How yoga blocks help

Yoga blocks can help with the camel pose. Many people can’t ultimately reach their feet because they fear neck and back injuries. This is why using yoga blocks can be an excellent alternative for this pose.

It is used as a support for the neck and lower back.

How to do the camel pose with yoga blocks

Step One

You first have to get into the kneeling position. Place your hands behind your back, and tilt your head upwards. You can take the blocks in your hands and place them on the ground.

Step Two

By placing two blocks underneath, ensure your left and right leg are equally apart. That way, you will ensure openness in your inner thighs and hips.

Step Three

You can also ensure your yoga mat, blanket, or even towels are centered correctly and smoothly, as you should be able to place the blocks on either side of your calves.

Step Four

Make sure to bring your hips upwards, so they’re above your knees. Then after several minutes of holding, you can relax your chin and bring it down. Slowly inhale and exhale, bringing your body upwards into a kneeling position.

  • Triangle

The triangle pose is also known as the Trikonasana. The main goal of this pose is to elongate and strengthen the hamstrings. It has also been beneficial in opening the shoulder blades and groin.

How yoga blocks help

Using a yoga block with this pose can easily reach behind your knee and have proper alignment.

How to do the triangle pose with yoga blocks

Step One

On a yoga mat, place the block vertically. Make sure the block is placed outside of your dominant foot. Make sure your legs are wide apart. Then with your dominant hand, reach behind your leg and place the hand on the block.

Step Two

Make sure your feet are pressed down while you reach up with your other hand. Your back and core should be straight.

  • Downward Facing Dog

Downward Facing Dog is a pose that lengthens the hamstrings, heels, lower back, glutes, and hips. This is also good for stretching and strengthening the wrists and shoulder blades.

How yoga blocks help

You can use yoga blocks to make the Downward dog pose a lot easier. Placing a yoga block can help create space in your body, specifically your neck and shoulders.

Many yogis can do this pose a lot easier when placing their hands on the blocks while facing downwards.

How to do the triangle pose with yoga blocks

Step One

On a mat, place a block leveling each one of your hands. You should arch your back as further as possible while maintaining your legs somewhat straight.

Step Two

While doing all that, inhale deeply and raise your toes. That way, you will lengthen your spinal cord. Make sure your hips are a bit higher than your shoulders.

Step Three

Then, while exhaling, bend your knees slightly. And while you’re empty of breath, jump with your legs forward while keeping your hands on the yoga blocks. You then redo the process while your hands and legs are close together.

Step Four

Once you’ve done that, raise your torso by releasing your hands and exhale, bringing your hands to the center of your body.

  • Standing Forward Fold

The standing forward fold is an excellent pose that relieves stress and stimulates blood flow. Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend is a great way to expand the muscles in your arms and legs.

How yoga blocks help

Using yoga blocks can help beginners advance their yoga practice by lengthening the hips and knees. Not only that, but it also improves hamstring flexibility and tones the abdomen. 

How to do the triangle pose with yoga blocks

Step One

You should always start the pose by standing. The hip to width length should be small- the feet should almost touch each other. Start hinging forward and let your hips do the work.

Step Two

When your hips surpass 90 degrees, you will feel stomach compression. Once the hips and the backs of your legs are engaged, suck in your belly and let your ribs touch your legs.

Step Three

Then, slowly place your hands on the two blocks before you. The closer the blocks are to the feet, the better stretch you’ll experience.

How To Add Challenge & Develop Strength with Yoga Blocks

L-Sit Arm Balance

Many yoga poses consist of groundwork. Switching up can be difficult when you don’t know where to start and how to incorporate your hands into the poses. Luckily, you can always start with yoga blocks.

How yoga bocks help:

Placing a yoga block underneath your hands while in a staff pose can increase your height and enable you to get your body off the ground more quickly. You can build strength in your arms, legs, and core.

  1. Like always, start in Staff Pose. You can place the yoga blocks next to your hips or close to them.  Make sure to comfortably place your hands on the block and lift your legs and core.
  2. You can always start with the tallest placement of the block. Make sure you hold the pose for some time and gradually remove the height. You will notice that you will have improved strength.

Boat Pose

Navasana, or the boat pose, is one of the most efficient poses in yoga if you want to build strength. This can be challenging as many people don’t have the necessary flexibility to do it.

How yoga blocks help:

In this pose, you’re engaging not just your body but also your legs. Make sure you’ve built enough strength in your hips and core. You will engage your upper core by putting a block between your legs.

  1. Sit on the mat and bend your knees so that the feet lay flat. Place the yoga block between your claves and place your hands on the ground.
  2. Slowly begin to lean back while keeping your back and legs straight.
  3. Then, stay in this position for several minutes while keeping your hands near your hips.

Crow Pose

This is one of the most challenging poses to achieve. The crow pose requires incredible balance and strength in your arms and hands.

How do Yoga Blocks help?

By placing a yoga block right under your toes, you will have a greater chance of testing and improving your upper body balance.

  1. Stand on yoga blocks in the toe stand pose.
  2. The hands should be placed on the ground and start lifting one leg up
  3. Hold the foot in one place, then switch it up


This is yet another excellent pose for building core strength. However, not every beginner can do this, as it requires a bit of initial strength in the first place. If you try this pose with no previously built power, you will soon fall to the ground.

The main goal of this pose is to push your body by having your elbows on the side. Your back should be straight and engage your upper core the most.

How yoga block helps

Placing two blocks right under your shoulders gives them the necessary support. By doing so, you will not only engage your core but also build strength in the upper torso.

  1. With a traditional plank, you can add blocks underneath each one of your shoulders. Make sure the blocks are placed vertically. Then, you should push the elbows so that they’re shifting your body forward.
  2. Then, slightly start lowering your body by bending the elbows. You should always try to hold this pose for several seconds and then push your body forward.

How Yoga Blocks Can Act As Support

Pigeon Pose

The pigeon pose is yet another problematic pose because many people cannot bend their knees so much or have tight hips. It is a quick pose; you only need to hold it for several seconds.

You can use yoga blocks underneath your hips to put less pressure on your bent leg. It is an excellent practice if you want to do this pose later on the ground.

Hero’s Pose

Hero’s Pose involves sitting on your knees while bent inwards. It is an excellent practice if you want to stretch your leg muscles. You can place a block to sit on so your ankles will be more comfortable.

Fish Pose

The fish pose is often known s the Plow Pose. Without the necessary tools, staying in that position for too long will be challenging. I recommend using a yoga block on your shoulder blades to avoid that.

This way, you won’t feel discomfort and still have the same benefits.

Shoulder stand

Several tips on how to take care of your yoga block:

  • Make sure you’re using a wet or damp towel if you have a dry wood block
  • If you notice any coloring on top of your yoga block, you can always wipe it with a towel od deep clean it
  • When washing your cork yoga block, ensure you’re not using any soap. Soap can cause the cork to crack and become gritty.


Yoga blocks can be incredible tools if you’re into experimenting in your yoga class. They can help you achieve your desired goal, improve your flexibility and even aid you in restoring your body after a challenging injury.

Remember, these aren’t the only ways to use yoga blocks. There are many variations you can learn to do if you decide to go with this tool. Remember, one smart choice can lead to many more!

So choose the yoga block wisely!

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