Top 5 Best Foam Yoga Blocks For A Better Practice
We don’t think we need blocks at first…
When you begin doing yoga you’re just trying to understand all the basic postures and get through the class. The idea of using a block almost seems like too much at first.
Then one day the teacher hands you block because you're struggling in a posture and all of a sudden it all makes sense.
Blocks can be tremendously helpful in dozens of yoga poses. A foam yoga block is especially nice when sitting or putting weight on it.
I’ve compiled a top 5 list to help you navigate selecting the right block for you. We’ll answer a few questions along the way as well so you can get a full understanding of which block will be the best suited for your needs.
Here’s the number one choice...
This is a classic in the yoga world.
Gaiam has been producing this yoga block for many years. During that time it has amassed hundreds of 5-star reviews. Furthermore the price is fair and their customer service is top notch.
Which Is Better - Cork Or Foam?
Cork blocks are meant for putting lots of weight into them. If you plan on relying on a block for support then cork is a good choice. Foam blocks are good for sitting or lying on.
Foam yoga blocks can also be used for support, but as more of a guide. They are intended to gently assist in bringing the floor up to where you need it. They are not intended for standing or doing balancing poses on top of.
Why not get two blocks instead of one?
Having two blocks is a must if you enjoy practicing Yin or restorative types of yoga. If you are into fast paced yoga styles then you may not ever really need two blocks.
Those who look to yoga as a light form of physical therapy should probably pick up a two block set. You’ll enjoy the support and not have to strain as much when trying to relax into poses.
Are Yoga Blocks Worth It?
I used to have an arrogant view and considered yoga blocks to be a hindrance rather than an asset.
It was only when I began doing slower forms of yoga that I found out how magical they can be. It’s wonderfully relaxing to have blocks under your knees when doing Bound Angle pose (Butterfly).
In a word, yes. Blocks are 100% worth it because it opens up so many new possibilities in your yoga practice.
Here’s a set I recommend to just about all of my students...
If you have yet to start using blocks and straps in your practice then you have been missing out. Even if you enjoy more advanced forms of yoga, using a strap can help you with cool difficult poses like Bird Of Paradise and Standing Head-to-Knee.
Using blocks and straps in your home yoga practice is especially nice because you can give yourself some gentle therapy without having to go to the studio. A 30 minute session at home could save you a few days of aches and pains down the road.
Are Yoga Blocks Toxic?
Most yoga blocks are made from a type of foam called EVA (ethel vinyl acetate). In most cases it is non-toxic. Many children’s play mats are made from this material and the manufacturers take extra care to ensure it does not contain contaminants.
That being said, it all depends on the manufacturer and what you consider to be, on a larger scale, toxic. Many 3rd world countries that make EVA materials may not care to create such a pure product as Germany or the United States does.
If toxicity is your main concern then you can’t go wrong with a cork or wood block.
This is a really good set for those who want to take things slow at first.
If you are planning on doing some gentle yoga at home to help alleviate general soreness and stiffness then you’ll enjoy this complete yoga set.
The price is good and the quality is pretty decent as well. The yoga mat isn’t the best, but when you are just beginning you don’t need a top-end mat. After you get your bearings you can start looking at upgrading.
The foam blocks that come with this set are pretty basic, but that’s actually a good thing if you’re just getting going with yoga.
Can You Stand On A Yoga Block?
You should avoid standing on yoga blocks made with foam. They are simply too wobbly to provide you with any balance. Blocks that are made of wood or cork however, are quite good for standing.
Here’s another fun option for those just starting out…
This block (or set of blocks) comes with a helpful PDF you can download to learn different poses and stretches with help from the blocks. This may not sound like much, but for those who are clueless with regards to how to use a yoga block, that little download can be very helpful.
Consider The Size
Before we wrap this up, it’s important to consider the size of your yoga block… Most blocks will either be 3 or 4 inches thick.
People who have smaller hands may like the 3 inch block because it’s easier to grab. Those who are more advanced may also like small blocks because they don't need that many inches of help with their poses
4 inch blocks are good for people just starting out. It’s pretty much the “standard size” for blocks and having that extra inch of help is typically needed.
When looking at what foam yoga block to get you should keep in mind two basic things. First, would you prefer a set of two blocks, or just a single stand alone?
Next, think about the size… Beginners will be fine with standard 4 inch blocks, but if you are a smaller stature then consider going with 3 inches. Don’t worry too much about the size, If this is your first block then you’ll just be happy to have one.
Do you have a particular block you like? How has it helped you in your yoga practice?
Let me know in the comments below!