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Monday MATter Natter is a new feature at Vibrant Yogini where we will be discussing all the latest chitter chatter directly from the yoga mat! We regularly ask our subscribers and followers what they would like to learn more about, and now we will deliver on all these questions. Expect to read product reviews, expert-round-ups answering YOUR questions, as well as topical news stories in the yoga, health and wellness sector!
If you have a burning question you would like to have answered by any of our expert yogi’s or holistic therapists, then get in-touch using the contact details at the end of this blog post.
This article will cover the following:
- The 5 benefits of a yoga block;
- Provides balance in standing postures
- Supports knees and hips
- Helps us focus on the breath
- Deepens the practice by adding extra length
- Fine tunes yoga poses
- Additional Extras
The 5 Reasons You Need A CORK Yoga Block To Progress In Your Practice!
This week’s MATter Natter is all about using a yoga block within your practice. If you are new to yoga, and haven’t attended a class before, you may not know what a yoga block is; A yoga block is a lightweight ‘block’ shaped piece of equipment used to support the body so that we are able to find it easier to: balance; deepen the stretch; make sure we get the correct alignment in yoga poses; and more!
Before we discuss the reasons how yoga blocks will improve your yoga practice, let’s first look at the reasons why a CORK yoga block is the way forward!
Don’t forget to pin this image to your Pinterest board:
Now that you understand why you should opt for cork, let’s take a deeper look about why yoga blocks are SO useful to compliment your yoga practice!
Yoga Block Benefit 1: Help Find Your Balance in Standing Poses
It is quite the norm in yoga for beginners to struggle with balance – and even sometimes for the seasoned practitioner! Therefore, a block can come in extremely useful to help support you and stay centered during the balancing poses.
Standing yoga poses a block can help with;
- Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana) – Use a yoga block as a shortcut between your hand and the ground. This will enable you to focus on keeping your one leg parallel to the mat, while opening the front side of your body, gazing at your opposite arm lifted straight up above you
- Wide-Legged Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana) – You can put the yoga block on the floor below your head to add height so that you can rest the crown of your head on the block to enable you to focus more on your alignment and full stretch into the pose.
Yoga Block Benefit 2: To Support Hips and Knees
Yoga blocks offer great support for your knees and hips especially in seated poses. From my personal experience so far, I do tend to find that men especially, have tight hips. Therefore, it is perfectly acceptable to sometimes even stack two blocks together on top of one another and then placing them underneath the sitting bones to allow your posture to be correct (chest open, back straight, shoulders relaxed, belly button pulled in towards the spine) when getting comfortable in a sitting position.
Seated yoga poses that yoga blocks can help with;
- Hero Pose (Virasana) – Kneel on the mat and place the block underneath your sitting bones. You will find it easier to focus on the correct alignment of your torso and spine in this position.
- Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) – Place the block underneath your sitting bone if you have limited mobility and can’t quite sit comfortably on the mat in this pose. Gradually with time, your body will become more subtle and relax more easily closer towards the mat.
Yoga Block Benefit 3: Helps Us Focus On The Breath!
As I lightly mentioned before, one of the reasons why us yogis LOVE to use yoga blocks is because it helps us deepen the pose without too much effort. We are able to fully concentrate on the breath rather than trying hard to focus on holding the pose, which can quite often make beginner’s become short on breath or even stop breathing entirely as they hold their breath through the struggles of the poses. Breathing is SO important in yoga and it actually HELPS us to deepen our stretches on every exhale. Therefore, yoga blocks are a saviour within our practice, enabling us to slowly progress comfortably.
Yoga Block Benefit 4: To Deepen The Stretch By Adding Extra Length
Once you have stretched regularly and consistently for some time, you may find that your muscles have become very supple and you can easily stretch completely head down, back straight in Seated Forward Bends (Paschimottanasanas).
However, you may want to continue to challenge yourself to get that little bit deeper. By using the block as an extension, you can push yourself further into the stretch.
Use the blocks by placing the wide side of the block against the soles of your feet to add extra length. If even that isn’t enough, you can vary the angles using the different sides of the block to add even more extension!
Yoga Block Benefit 5: To Fine Tune Your Poses
A block can be placed in between the thighs to ensure that the legs are properly aligned and activated in yoga poses.
For example, a block being held between the thighs in Bridge Pose (Setu Bandasana) and Wheel Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana), will ensure the legs do not splay out to the sides.
Likewise, in Plank Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana) and Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), the block can be used to keep the legs activated and strong so that they don’t relax making your body fall out of proper alignment.
As we can see, for such a lightweight rectangular brick, a yoga block is a surprisingly and extremely useful piece of yoga equipment. Beginners and pros alike can benefit from the extra help a yoga block can provide. Try it out!
Have you purchased a yoga block to enhance and support your practice yet?
That’s all for this week’s MATter Natter! Do you use a cork yoga block? We would love to hear how it has helped your practice! Feel free to comment on any of our social media channels (see the bottom of this blog) or in the comments below!
Make sure you also keep an eye out for the Yoga Star featuring at Vibrant Yogini this Friday!
Additional Yogi Extras!
Browse available yoga and wellness retreats around the world;
Why not spend your next vacation experiencing a yoga retreat?
There are so many to choose from!
Whether you prefer mixing it with a bit of surfing in Costa Rica, or your would like to visit the worlds heart of yoga in Rishikish, India.
Perhaps you are in need of a refreshing detox retreat, or simply a relaxing and luxurious stay in paradise which offers you spa treatments, sightseeing tours and daily yoga classes.
You are sure to find one that suits your needs perfectly!
OR book a hotel already within your dream wellness destination.
Don’t worry, I get it!
Some of you just don’t like the idea of being restricted to a yoga retreat, or you may be with friends or loved ones who don’t fancy being restricted to a retreat programme.
Perhaps then, you are more in favour of staying at an independent hotel but within a yoga destination?
Have the best of both worlds!
Hotel comforts AND attend daily yoga classes in your dream wellness destination.
Search the daily deals from Agoda and snap yourself up a bargain with these current offers:
Next, find the most direct flight AND save an extra 10%!
Qatar airways now offers so many more international flights so that you can save time travelling and spend more precious time in your desired destination!
This is fantastic news because, like many Middle Eastern Airlines, their flights are always so comfortable with high quality and attentive service, great meals (for an aeroplane!) and in-flight entertainment!
Plus, you can use the special discount code below to save an extra 10%!
Almost there, but first let’s find you the correct gear to take with you…
When packing to go on a wellness holiday, it is useful to take your own personal travel mat and gear.
Finding the correct equipment that fully suits your needs is important to prevent injuries and help you reap the benefits of yoga and exercise.
When I first started yoga, I personally had to have a slightly thicker yoga mat than average otherwise the lower part of my back doesn’t feel cushioned enough making me feel so sore after only one or two sessions!
Barefoot yoga supplied a wide variety of sustainable and comfortable yoga props and gear.
Are you getting enough vitamins during your travels? or even, at home?
Sometimes when we go travelling, we can be limited to what food is available at the destinations we travel to.
This often makes us feel sluggish and tired.
You can overcome the common negative effects of travelling with yoga stretches. Read the guide here.
Plus, you can supplement stretches with nutritional vitamins.
Us health-conscious yogi’s usually travel with organic supplements to help keep us healthy while on the road -the last thing we ever want while on vacation is to become sick!
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Wishing you a mindful and happy life full yoga and good vibes,
P.S. “The quality of our breath expresses our inner feelings” ~ T.K.V. Desikachar