The 6 Best Yoga Blocks To Help Deepen Your Stretches and Elevate Your Practice

Think of yoga blocks as a helping hand for your yoga practice.When a yoga pose is inaccessible, you don’t have to twist yourself into knots or bend over backwards to make it work—instead, consider yoga blocks as a helping hand. “Yoga props are a really important part of anyone’s practice,” says Maine-based yoga teacher Katherine Englishman, “supporting you when the full expression of a pose isn’t possible, or if you can’t touch the floor.” Whether you want to extend your reach, deepen your stretches, or advance into more challenging poses without hurting your body, the best yoga blocks can help.  What to consider when shopping for yoga blocks There aren’t many differences between one block and the next—many come in a rectangular shape and similar sizes. Still, when selecting your ideal option, the choice of material is key. Look for options are made of either cork or foam—the right one for you will largely depend on you and your practice. Cork vs. foam yoga blocks Cork and foam blocks each have different benefits. “Cork provides more stability,” says Englishman, and the firm support it offers makes it ideal for practices involving plenty of balancing and/or standing poses. Blocks made from foam are softer than cork varieties, and this makes it better suited for restorative or yin yoga. “When you’re laying back on a block for long periods of time, a foam block can be really nice because it isn’t as hard as a cork block,” says Englishman. It’s also worth mentioning that foam blocks are usually less expensive, but they aren’t as durable as ones made from cork, the latter of which might be the ideal option if you’re looking for something to better withstand daily wear and tear—keeping in mind it’ll not only be more expensive, but also heavier and stiffer than its counterpart. Whether you’re looking to buy cork or foam blocks, you can find the best options in each category below, including an option that Englishman recommends and uses herself. Are two blocks better than one? Generally speaking, yes. “I would encourage anyone to buy two blocks,” says Englishman. That way, you can have one each to support both arms or legs at the same time, as well as have the option to stack the blocks on top of each other when you want to bring the ground even closer to you. The best cork yoga blocks Overall best: Manduka, Cork Yoga Block (Set of 2) — $46.00 Material: cork | Size: 4” W x 6” H x 9” L | Weight: 2.2 lbs./block Manduka’s cork yoga blocks have been touted as one of the best yoga blocks by multiple publications. I can attest: The blocks have a grippy texture that keeps my hands firmly in place and assuages any fears of slippage, whether I’m attempting a half-moon pose or a standing split. As firm and weighty as they are, the blocks aren’t too hard to hurt my bony parts—even in supported bridge pose. However, it might be too hard for people with sensitive joints, and it’s also the most expensive option on the list. While an investment, the Manduka yoga blocks have lasted me years. I put them through the wringer—using them not only for yoga, but also for strength-training. I’ve used it to perform all manner of hands-elevated push-ups and lunges and it nary a sign of wear, which only further proves the blocks’ durability. Pros: Stable and supportive base Long-lasting design Sold as a pair Cons: Pricey Shop Now Best lightweight: Jade Yoga, Cork Yoga Block — $18.00 Material: cork | Size: 3” W x 4.75” H x 9” L | Weight: 1.2 lbs./block If you’re looking for a cork yoga block that is lighter weight and easier to maneuver, consider this option from Jade Yoga. Weighing in at a little over one pound, it’s a touch lighter than the overall best pick. It’s also smaller in size, but only by a few inches. Still, it might make a big difference for people who might want a sure grip on their blocks. Like the previous option, the cork material provides enough traction to keep hands and feet in place while preventing the block from slipping and sliding on the floor. One tradeoff: Blocks are sold as a single piece, but if you were to purchase two, a pair would still be $10 cheaper than the previous option. Pros: Lightweight at only 1.2 pounds per block Easy to maneuver Offers enough traction to prevent slips and slides Cons: Only sold per piece Shop Now Best value: Dakini, Cork Yoga Blocks (Set of 2) — $37.00 Material: cork | Size: 3” W x 6” H x 9” L | Weight: 1.5 lbs./block If you’re on a budget but want cork yoga blocks, you might want to opt for this pair from Dakini. For a little under $37, you’ll receive a pair of yoga blocks and—to sweeten the deal—an eight-foot-long yoga strap to help you extend your grip and deepen your stretches. What’s more, it has many of the same qualities I like in the overall best pick: It has enough real estate for your hands and feet, round edges that can help alleviate some pressure when it presses up against sensitive body parts, and solid support that you can rely on. Pros: Inexpensive Includes an eight-foot-long yoga strap Sold as a pair Cons: Limited retailer options Shop Now The best foam yoga blocks Overall best: Gaiam Essentials, Yoga Blocks (Set of 2) — $17.00 Material: foam | Size: 4” W x 6” H x 9” L | Weight: 0.2 lbs./block Englishman has had Gaiam’s yoga blocks for over 10 years, and despite her toddler taking a bite out of one of the blocks, she says, “They’re still in great condition.” Ideal for a gentle yoga practice, the blocks offer enough cushion for your back, neck, and pushin’, which prevents the discomfort that might otherwise come from resting your body parts on a hard block for extended periods. At less than one pound, you can easily transport these blocks from your home to the yoga studio if you so please. Pros: Yogi-approved Long-lasting Sold as a pair Cons: Not as durable as blocks made from cork Shop Now Best dense: Hugger Mugger, 4-Inch Recycled Foam Yoga Block — $21.00   Material: recycled foam | Size: 4” W x 6” H x 9” L | Weight: 0.8 lbs./block The Hugger Mugger is made from dense foam and has a substantial weight to it, which is ideal for yogis who want a foam block with more support. Its beveled edges make it supportive enough to lean on in standing and/or balancing poses, and it prevents the block from digging into your body in sitting and lying-down poses. My only qualm is that this option is only sold per piece—and at $21 each, it is the most expensive foam block feature on the list, which might be a tradeoff for those who want a wallet-friendly option. Pros: Made from dense foam to offer more stability and support Ideal for both standing and/or balancing poses and restorative poses Uses recycled materials Cons: Only sold per piece Shop Now Most supportive: Wrist Buddy, Yoga Blocks (Set of 2) — $40.00 Material: foam | Size: 4” W x 6” H x 9” L | Weight: Not specified The Wrist Buddy Yoga Blocks aren’t your standard yoga blocks. Invented by chiropractor John Kibby, DC, and recommended by AmeriDisability as one of the best pieces of adaptive yoga equipment, the blocks have hand- shaped grooves that help take the pressure off of sensitive wrists and shift the weight to your palms, helping bring more ease—and less pain—into poses like downward-facing dog and plank. And thanks to its rounded edges and softer material, it makes it just as comfortable to rest your back, neck, or seat on its surface. While I appreciate its innovative design, it may not be as versatile as other options. Pros: Made by a chiropractor Alleviates pressure off sensitive wrists Sold as a pair Cons: It may not be as versatile as traditional yoga blocks Shop Now

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