If you are curious to know what are yoga blocks made of? You are on the right page. We will be answering this question in details and we are pretty sure you will find your answer once and for all. We will write this article in FAQ format, which will also help you get answers to all related yet relevant questions.
Here we go…
What are Yoga Blocks?
Before we get into the real crux of the article, let us first get a little understanding of yoga blocks. We all know how these blocks look like. But do we know what they actually are? Well, yoga blocks are rectangular shaped blocks used as props while practicing yoga and performing difficult and complicated yoga asanas.
They are usually made of foam but can also be made from cork or wood. It is mainly used for the purpose of stabilizing our body while stretching, balancing and performing various poses. It makes yoga more accessible to more people with different body types and abilities. Yoga blocks also help to deepen our body during stretches and the poses performed.
They provide our bodies with stability, support, and balance when we undertake the challenge of performing yoga poses like crescent moon pose, bridge, and many others. They act like a tool that brings the ground closer to us especially when we are unable to touch our hands to the ground.
However, this does not mean that yoga blocks are only used by beginners but are also massively used by seasoned yoga practitioners so that we do not end up straining our muscles instead of relaxing them.
History of Yoga Blocks
Whether you are a beginner or an avid yoga practitioner we are all well aware of the existence of yoga blocks. These blocks were first introduced by the late B.K.S Iyengar and over the years it has immensely made itself establish as quite a popular prop tool that provides the body with support and leverages for a deeper expression of the alignment of our body while doing yoga poses.
Yoga blocks are mostly used by beginners and by those who have injuries in their body or come with other physical limitations. But advanced yoga practitioners also make quite a use of it, especially while learning and trying out new challenging and complicated poses.
According to B.K.S Iyengar, the ideal yoga block should measure exactly 9×4.5×3 inches but modern-day practitioners also use smaller or larger blocks as per requirement. This entirely depends on the size of your hands and also your flexibility. A smaller sized block helps those who have small hands and are able to bend their bodies quite a lot.
On the contrary, if you have a large-sized hand and have less flexible capabilities then a larger block would help you more.
What Are Todays Yoga Blocks Made Of?
Right at the very beginning, when yoga blocks were first introduced, they were primarily made of wood- specifically bamboo wood. Over the years, this has evolved and now blocks are made of a variety of materials like cork and foam and also wood. With its growing popularity, yoga practitioners have realized that yoga blocks help ensure proper alignment of the body.
Let us now get into the details of each of the materials with which yoga blocks are made of:
EVA foam is the most commonly used material for making yoga blocks nowadays. It’s high density recycled foam which makes the yoga blocks very easy to lift, move and carry around. It is the density of the foam which makes the blocks sturdy, durable and long-lasting.
Yoga practitioners have also claimed that blocks made from this special kind of recycled foam can even last a lifetime if used and taken care of properly. They are extremely light in weight weighing about 3 to 5 ounces, quite soft and are available abundantly which makes it the most commonly used yoga block. This is why they are priced at a reasonable rate than the ones made of other materials.
However, they can get dirty and have a tendency to wear easily. They are not even as eco-friendly as the other materials are. Advanced or seasoned yoga practitioners find the foam blocks flimsy and less stable when they use it for support and balance. They are good to use for beginners who are just about starting to find their body alignment.
Apart from EVA foam, yoga blocks are also made of cork. Depending on the way the cork has been extracted, it is considered more eco-friendly than any other material. The cork made blocks run their weight mid-way- they are heavier and harder than the foam ones while softer and lighter than the wood ones- weighing about one to two pounds.
They are easy to use and stack. However, cork yoga blocks tend to absorb sweat and odors because of their porous texture which results in their decreasing longevity. They also start smelling funny and get worn off by becoming crumbly and dented with regular use. It provides more stability and support than the foam ones and therefore can be used by both beginners as well as seasoned yogis.
Wood is yet another material that is used to make yoga blocks. They are usually made of hardwood like bamboo, birch, maple, pine, balsa, and poplar. However, they are made to be hollow inside. This makes wooden blocks even more sturdy and durable than the foam or the cork ones.
Since made from wood, they definitely call to be hard and heavy weighing around 1.5 to 2.5 pounds but they ensure the user with full support, stability, and balance. They even look better superficially than the ones made of other materials and they can be easily taken care of- just a wipe with a cloth, clean them up quickly.
However, wooden blocks are more expensive than the cork ones and much more expensive than the foam ones. They also become extremely slippery when they come in contact with sweat or water and they tend to slide around when placed on flat hard ground. Because of the uneven wooden surface, they also do not stack well.
It is also not as eco-friendly as the ones made of cork. The wooden blocks are usually used by advanced yogis who have already built their strength and can easily use these heavy blocks to accomplish complicated difficult poses.
Every material used to make yoga blocks have different weight, density, stability, and overall look and feel. Therefore, the level you are at will determine which yoga block you should go for.
Likewise, the prices are determined by the material with which they are made. Each of the materials has its pros and cons and it is up to you and your teacher to decide which one you should go for. Practitioners always suggest buying two blocks instead of one primarily because two blocks give you more support and stability which in turn will allow you to do a wider range of complicated and difficult poses.
If you are just right about to start practicing yoga, you can even go for making one for yourself instead of investing on a yoga block. Nonetheless, a yoga block is a good investment for both amateur and pro-yogis. So go for it without a doubt and relax your mind, body, and soul by doing those hard-to-achieve yoga poses!
Do not forget to read our article on What Are Yoga Blocks Used For?