WITH ALL THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF YOGA BLOCKS OUT THERE, HOW DO YOU KNOW WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE AND WHY?
Yoga blocks are one of the most all purpose props in yoga. They are probably the most essential prop used to facilitate or add challenge to the poses, help with alignment, and release tension.
Blocks are the foundation of every practice. They help us maintain anatomical alignment in poses. Placing your hand on a block in standing poses like Trikonasana (Triangle) can make the difference between feeling strained to feeling free and flowing. The practice of yoga is about steadying the mind and body, whilst breathing freely and being at ease in your poses. The use of yoga blocks is essential to help achieve this throughout your practice. They should be part of the foundation of any yogis practice regardless of their experience.
To keep all yogis supported we offer a variety of different shapes and size blocks that you’ll find in our Manduka Yoga Block Family.
As we know, yoga blocks are essentially aiding devices that you can use to create space as well as deepen stretches and get into poses. Blocks can help you find proper alignment and they can be used as extra support during poses or meditation, but what's the difference?
- Extremely durable, do not get nicked or loose shape easily
- Feels solid and trustworthy, they do not have much give (more than wood, but less than foam) protecting weight and wrists
- Heavy weight
- Porous material, so it absorbs sweat and humidity
- Softest, lightest and cheapest of block types
- Has a lot of give, good for restorative practices - laying your back down on (heart opener), not good for your hands/wrists when placing body weight on (plank)
- EVA recycled foam material, not as long-lasting and get dirty more easily
- Curved side to offer even more support for your back
- The curvature makes it easy to forget that you’re being held by a prop, mainly because nothing is poking you in the back
- Ergonomic design supports your wrists as you lean into practically any pose
- Same EVA recycled foam material as traditional foam blocks, soft and light
- Smaller in size, but has the same comfort, style and support as the larger version
- Perfect for traveling and storing in small spaces
- Easy to grip and keep wrist straight when holding plank pose
Why all the shapes and sizes?
Yoga practitioners come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important that blocks also come in a variety of sizes that accommodate everyone.
1. The wider the block the more stability you will get.
2. If you have a smaller frame or looking for just a little support in a pose then heading towards a smaller block is probably better for you.
3. Make sure to find a good fit for your hands. If you're a tall person with limited flexibility and big hands, get a larger-sized block. It will 'raise the floor' higher in standing asanas. In contrast, if you're a bit more on the flexible side and have smaller hands, get a smaller block. It'll be more comfortable to grip and provide support closer to the floor.
4. For the yogi moving between studios, a pair of smaller blocks is perfect for putting in your bag and will make a big difference in your daily commute.
For general use, this is the universal size for most practitioners. These blocks are studio staples. They offer 3 different heights so you can choose how much support or length you need. This way, you can easily modify asanas according to your flexibility and enjoy a smooth and seamless practice. They are also the favourites of many practitioners to help you sit with ease and give good posture for sitting pose and meditation.
Newest addition to the range. Smaller blocks are great for practitioners with smaller frames. Regular blocks might be too wide for some people. The smaller size are really versatile, offering a good manoeuvrability on the mat, they are smaller, more portable and a good space saving alternative to the standard blocks. Ideal for yogis on the go or for those who want blocks at home but don’t have much storage space. If your kids are joining you on the mat look for our mini foam blocks. These shorter dimensions, super lightweight material and extremely durable makes them perfect for children.
Curved Shape - unBLOK
Our curved block has a unique design with contours and ergonomic support to be softer on the body. It offers the most comfortable and functional of all and is good for wrist and spine support. When using the curved edge they can elevate difficulty in balance postures by creating a less stable surface for the hand or the floor, making the balance that little more challenging.
Foam vs cork why do we offer both?
Our two types of blocks are both made from the most versatile materials they each give specific advantages for the user, depending on their needs.
Manduka Recycled Foam Blocks are extremely dense and lightweight. Creating a stable platform in three different heights. The lightweight foam makes for effortless transition between poses and easier to manage for beginners. Manduka foam blocks are made from 50% recycled materials. The high density foam also provides a stable grounding connection to the floor as it does not compress or dent when pressure or weight is applied. This also ensures the durability of the product, to a level that has been tried and tested by the best yoga studios all over the world.
Manduka Cork Blocks are very firm, more dense, and heavier than their foam counterparts. This weight brings unparalleled stability keeping you grounded and secured throughout your pose. The extra weight allows you to use them as weights for strength exercises also. Our Lean version is slimmer, weighs half the amount of the regular cork block but is equally supportive. We use fine grain natural and sustainably harvested cork which ensures the maximum density in both blocks to create premium feel, durability and stability when under pressure or weight.
When to use a cork block?
- Standing forward fold: stand on cork block first, then forward fold
- Triangle & revolving triangle: place the block beneath hand to create space between the floor and hand
- Getting into crow pose: stand on block and bring big toes to touch, with space between heels, bring palms to ground and bend knees towards back of arms
- Practice splits: placed block or two under pelvis
- Half moon: bringing block between hand and floor
- Fostering muscle engagement: move to cork block when feeling strong enough to move from lighter foam block
- Seated forward fold: bring block up against soles of feet and reach for extra length
- Fostering muscle engagement: bring block in between thighs to engage for poses such as downward facing dog, upward facing dog, mountain and chair pose
- Pigeon: bring block under butt
- Restorative sessions for savasana and meditation
- Waterfall: bring block underneath lower back
- Meditation: making sits bone more comfortable
What makes Manduka blocks different?
1. Quality, Innovation and Durability.
2. All of Manduka Yoga Blocks are made from sustainable materials.
3. All our equipment are studio tested and approved.
4. We use high quality super fine grain cork that does not chip - Most of cork blocks on the market are made from large cork grain that break down more easily and can be chipped when dropped.
5. We use ultra dense foam which offers a very compact block that will not move, compress or fade - Most foam blocks on the market will show signs of wear and tear after just a few practices and will lose their shape and flat sides over time.
When you’re looking to get block’s we recommend purchasing in pairs and make sure it’s two of the same. Getting two yoga blocks at once will make your practice considerably more versatile. Like everything in a yogis life these should be balanced. The rest is up to you to decide and experiment with ideas.
There are no limits to how Manduka Yoga Blocks can be used during your practice, except possibly for your imagination.
For additional guidance on other yoga props available - yoga straps, yoga bolsters and yoga blankets - to enhance your practice, please visit our Yoga Props Guide.