One of the oldest and most versatile forms of exercise in the world is yoga. It has been practiced in India for thousands of years and has become very mainstream in the Western world – and beyond. Many yogis stray beyond the simple mat and incorporate yoga blocks into their practice.
Yoga blocks enhance poses, providing stability, and assisting with alignment during yoga practice. They should be bought in pairs, and according to the practitioner’s level of training. More substantial blocks allow for deeper poses and work best for those with more practice.
Buying yoga blocks depends on several factors, like material and size, that can be hard to understand for the novice yoga practitioner. Don’t let it stress you! Read on to learn everything you need to know about buying yoga blocks.
What Sizes do Yoga Blocks Come in?
The size of Yoga blocks can differ, and each serves a different purpose. The standard blocks are (in inches):
- 4 x 6 x 9
- 3 x 6 x 9
- 2 x 6 x 9
The Bigger the Block, the Deeper the Stretch
The 4-inch block is the most substantial. This is good for getting a deeper stretch in poses and adding height. One of the great things about the blocks is that they can be moved around on any of their edges to create a better spot for safe and effective yoga. This rounded edge works well when doing restorative poses that require bodyweight rest on the blocks.
For instance, the more massive 4-inch block will give a much longer stretch than the 2-inch. Turning the blocks on their side takes advantage of the extra height. The long edge adds a few inches while the short edge will add the most. Moving the blocks on their edges during asana amps up the process and get the heart pounding.
Size also correlates with weight. The material that the block is made from is going to be important in this aspect. More massive yoga blocks are going to be much better for advanced users as opposed to the beginner. Small blocks help beginners in achieving poses when their flexibility level may not allow them to reach all the way to the floor yet.
At first, learning how to get into the poses is an essential part of the exercise. Each type of block helps to correct the postures no matter the experience level.
All Yoga Blocks Are Not the Same
Like any product, each type of yoga block is going to have the same properties. The inherent parts of the block, the edges, and flat spaces are all going to be in a uniform shape. This ensures that the training that comes with using each block is the same. Though body types are entirely different, a large part of the population fits into the areas used by standard blocks.
As with any product, the amount of money you pay will reflect its material and performance. Cheaper blocks will scuff mats and have smoother edges faster than a higher-priced pair. The more inexpensive sets will also be easier to degrade and wear out. Often the cheapest sets are made from EVA foam that isn’t created for long term usage.
More expensive sets are going to be made from bamboo or a high-performance EVA foam. These sets will also have a more substantial weight than more affordable models. If handstands and overhead poses are in your practice, then shelling out the extra cash for a good set is imperative.
Different Types of Yoga Block
When setting out to get a yoga block is that there is more than one type. The type chosen should depend on the amount of experience you have and the level of your practice. There are tons of other factors, like price, to consider when shopping. Be sure of what is best for the exercise before buying. The most common types of blocks are:
Foam Yoga Blocks
The foam yoga block is the most common model on the market. Foam blocks provide an excellent base for newcomers to learn the exotic secrets of yoga at strip malls across the country.
- Foam blocks are also the most economical choice. Many brands are well under $10.
- They are lightweight. While they don’t provide as much support as those made of other materials, they can be used as light weights for additional moves. Moving them up and down the mat will be part of their use.
- They are softer and help in the restorative poses. The biggest draw of foam is comfort. As they are much softer than other blocks, it is an excellent place to start. Pain isn’t something that should be associated with a Yoga practice
- These are readily available at any sporting goods or superstore.
Top Choices In Foam Yoga Blocks
When it comes to foam blocks, there aren’t any better products than Gaiam Yoga blocks, they are a bit pricey but won’t leave marks on the mat and floors. Think of these as an investment, and the sticker shock won’t sting as much as it could. Gaiam has been producing blocks for the last 20 years and has a large part of the Yoga accessories market in their product lines. Here are some other great options on the market.
- Reehut EVA foam block is another great choice, with a smooth but dense foam that means going into handstands or headstands can be achieved with comfort and stability. Being slip-resistant is very important in training, and the Reehut set has some of the best anti-slip foam in the Yoga market. They also come in an assortment of colors that can be matched to whatever you wear or practice in.
- Heathyoga makes an excellent set of blocks from highly resistant EVA foam that is super durable. They are water-resistant, which is essential when thinking about all the sweat that will be dropped on them. Foam has a lousy reputation for splitting when they encounter large amounts of water, but Heathyoga has found a way around that.
- Woeau is an up and coming company that specializes in EVA blocks with additional strap attachments. They have an added benefit that is overlooked in the denser materials. Protection against smells is a trait that some other blocks don’t have. The proximity that is kept with the blocks can be unpleasant if the scent is overpowering.
- Balanceform blocks come with a two-year warranty. Most blocks of EVA are going to degrade pretty fast with regular use. This set is a proven product that has some gnarly beveled edges. Having a smooth edge means that no sharp points are sticking into the back and arms.
Wood Yoga Blocks
You wouldn’t think it, but there are some yoga blocks out there that are made strictly for the environmental aspects – yoga blocks made out of wood.
There is a harmony between people and objects in yoga that plays in heavily to the environmental spirit. Using products that don’t harm the planet can make a person’s practice more powerful and form a connection in their mind that lasts a lifetime.
Wooden Yoga blocks are some of the rarest out there. A good set makes a great addition to any set of blocks in a yoga space. They have a firmer bent than cork and can be hard on newer practices. If a head or handstand is in your asana, moving to a woodblock will give more control over the body weight.
Bamboo is the primary type of wood used in yoga blocks. It is very sturdy and adds heft to your poses. The fact that it is so sturdy means it can be painful. If you are an advanced practitioner, woodblocks could be the way to go. If handstands are a large part of the practice, these are an excellent option.
Top Choices in Wood Yoga Blocks
- Maji Sports makes a tremendous wooden block that has a hollow core to avoid excess weight. There are full core versions available as well. They have rounded edges and are some of the most environmentally aware products available. These fall in the middle of the road, in terms of price.
- The Wooden-Life set uses recyclable materials, making these blocks some of the most popular on the market. Yoga companies take pride in being environmentally conscious, and the bamboo used in the Wooden-Life product line meets all environmentally friendly checkmarks. They have a hardness rating of 85, which means that they are firm enough to do a headstand but soft enough not to cause pain.
- YogaAccessories makes one of the sturdiest wooden yoga block sets out there. It is made with New Zealand Pine and has a smooth sanded finish. The rounded edges are great for practicing resting poses because they aren’t overly hard or too weak to hold up bodyweight. One of the best aspects of this set is how they look. If a beautiful set is what is required for the mat, this is the set to get.
- Saruka makes a set of yoga blocks from balsa wood, one of the renewable woods that has come into fashion. Saruka adds no unnatural elements during the process—making these blocks some of the friendliest products on the market. They are soft but not so weak that they begin to lose resistance, which is essential while doing restoration and lengthening poses.
An Ergonomic Wooden Yoga Block Option
A new trend is using a hollow block made of wood that resembles a ring. The ergonomic Bhoga set of blocks is one that many don’t know about. The hollow centers of the blocks make them easier to move and are preferred for the beginner but can be wielded by anyone. Another bonus of the hollow centers is easy storability.
Cork Yoga Blocks
The cork blocks are the hottest item going these days. They are made from the cork like we see in boards in kitchens across the country but are much more durable and compressed. A more advanced workout comes with this set.
- Cork is a sturdy block that is going to be more substantial than the others. If you need more weight as you move through the asanas, these are the model to look for. The extra weight may seem negligible until a few passes back and forth on the mat.
- Cork blocks come in several different sizes in addition to the 4-inch model.
- They will also have a much higher price point than the other entries on the list.
These are heavier than the other blocks, so they are best for a more experienced user. A strong base of the poses and asanas will be needed to overcome their heft. Lengthening the poses is what the cork does best.
Top Choices For Cork Yoga Blocks
- Manduka makes some of the best cork blocks in the game. They are going to be the most expensive block, but also will last a lifetime. Since they are made of cork, they can take a more significant weight limit and allow them to assume several critical positions comfortably. The folks at Manduka created the cork block and have come close to perfecting it.
- JBM makes a great block set that comes with a D-ring for extra stretching. This model has a soft grip and comes in four different colors. The colors go best when matched with a similar color Yoga mat. They are also non-absorbent and made from a super environment safe material. These are a bit heavier than others; they weigh in at around four pounds, meaning you get a muscle burn from several positions.
- Peace Yoga has taken the beauty aspect of the dull Yoga block and spiced it up. Their set is marked with elaborate designs that reflect scenes and pieces of art. The mandala is the most readily available pattern, but there are elephants and turtles as well. Not only do the Peace Yoga blocks look tremendous, but they perform great as well.
- Node Fitness makes a cork block that is 100% natural and durable to boot. This cork block is soft enough to provide comfort during the poses but is sturdy enough to handle the body weight. They weigh in at around two pounds and are hypoallergenic. Which is going to be necessary after prolonged use and bouts with sweat and dust.
When it comes to an economically and environmentally worthy Yoga product, the Lotuscrafts Supra Grip is hard to beat. It is made in Portugal with 100% natural cork and is striking to the eye. It has the appearance of beautiful granite with specks of color dotting the entire block. It has a stable non-slip surface, which is made with ecologically safe production materials.
The Best Yoga Blocks You Can Buy
Each company makes their blocks intending to market it as the best. Whether it is best for the price or the level of the exerciser is left vague and nebulous. Going through the top types of Yoga block revealed the top categories to be:
- Best for Beginners
- Best Value
- Best Wooden Block
Best Yoga Blocks for Beginners
Beginners can’t go wrong with a Reehut. They make one of the best blocks for beginners. They are a company that specializes in outdoor and fitness products with an emphasis on foam and other lightweight materials. They use an environmentally friendly process that endears them to clients and customers.
- Provides support during posing and has a non-slip surface
- Comes in the standard 9 x 6 x 4 and has beveled edges.
- High-density EVA foam is durable and resistant to water and odors.
- Has a 60-day money-back guarantee and 18-month replacement
- A dependable company with a proven record of quality products and customer service excellence
Reehut makes a quality block that is great for beginners because it is cheap and easy to maintain. The foam can be wiped with a wet rag and sat out to dry. Once a steady practice is achieved, taking the plunge on a quality set of blocks is a great idea. Improve the Yoga arsenal as the practice is improved.
One of the most well-known names in the Yoga industry, Gaiam has its own television network and employs some of the most proficient and innovative personalities in practice. Making them seem like an unknown in the industry is a hard feat as they continually win awards for innovation and environmental protection. They make a set of blocks that are great for beginners.
- Provide a proper base to correct position and alignment
- Lightweight and supportive foam is easy to clean and can be taken anywhere
- Extend the range of motion of poses and deepen the stretch during asanas
- Foam is strong and durable with anti-slip components for a secure grip
A Gaiam Yoga block was one of the first blocks on the market. When the blocks were invented in the late 1970s, the company saw an upside the product had and added it to their lines just after the precious Yoga mat. Once the mat was a hit adding in the blocks and straps made the company a bulletproof name to depend on.
One of the best-producing companies in the Yoga accessories industry is Manduka. Manduka makes several products pleasing to the eye and even has a computer suggestion system for all its products. They make a cork Yoga block that is high quality and almost everlasting. Cork is always a great place to start in that it is soft and comfortable.
- Cork is soft and allows for better positioning during the restorative poses.
- Made from renewable resources and friendly to the environment.
- Weighs less than the standard cork blocks but denser than EVA foam models.
- Rounded edges provide comfort when using.
Maduka is a newer company than the others but delivers a valuable and highly sought-after Yoga block. It only weighs a single pound but will provide the extra length and stretch that takes your practice to the next level. They have a hybrid of old-school yoga with a new age electronic approach that is enviable by companies across the world.
Best Yoga Blocks for the Price
If you are on a tight budget being able to get Yoga blocks might not fit into your budget. While they are mostly in the $20 range, some are much cheaper but still worth giving a try. Smdoxi makes a block that hovers around the $3 range but always is packed with quality.
- The antibacterial EVA foam creates a non-slip surface.
- The blocks are firm enough to perform advanced Yoga moves like head and handstands.
- Great for those with a fixed income.
- Packs away easy and makes traveling a breeze.
Smdoxi is an up and coming company that provides quality sporting equipment at a great price. They make it their mission to offer some of the cheapest quality blocks that you can find on the market. Their blocks provide stability and comfort during posing while giving a soft base for relaxation and strengthening.
Another great value block is Lavany. They come in a variety of sizes and colors while remaining at the $3 price point. Anything below this price point begins to have severe wear after only a few uses. Quality is the focus here, not quantity. That makes them a decent buy while keeping the functionality you expect from a product three times this price.
- Made with non-toxic EVA foam and coated with an anti-slip material.
- Have an antibacterial foam that repels water and keeps odors from becoming overpowering.
- Machine washable material that is perfect as a travel set or an everyday user.
- Provides stability during posing and asana movements
Budget and value don’t often mean the same thing, but in the case of Lavany, they are one and the same. If there’s a chance to hop on these blocks, it is not a bad idea for the investment. They don’t hurt your wallet while providing the same workout as its competitors. If yoga is a new hobby taking a small chance on these blocks means that there is no wrong answer. They are cheap and effective.
Here is another foam company that makes an excellent Yoga block. Putars has a small portion of the market but boasts some rugged products that are highly rated and tested. Having a set of these blocks in your gym or at home is going to raise your practice level. For the professional, the Putars blocks are an excellent way to provide equipment to the students and occasional class goers.
- A great price point that makes them competitive to many other models
- Made from EVA that is light and can be cleaned with soap and water
- Rounded edges for comfort during posing and relaxation
- An anti-slip coating that won’t leave marks on your mat
The model Putars makes isn’t going to set the world on fire, but it generates lots of heat for that price. It holds up well to punishment and will keep stains and smells off of your mat and clothing. In the end, making the Yoga mat time to improve your health is the name of the game, and Putars model blocks get the job done.
Best Wooden Yoga Block
This company makes one of the best wooden Yoga blocks around. They are some of the most striking models on the market and are covered with a shiny lacquer that is hard to miss. It is easy cleaning and will withstand anything thrown at it. They must be kept out of the sunlight, or the sheen will die much faster than expected.
- Made from 100% renewable resources and is water-resistant.
- Weigh only seven ounces and is for practitioners of any age.
- Hard surfaces increase the chances of holding challenging poses for more extended periods.
- Rounded edges cut down the discomfort from the harder surface.
A wooden set of Yoga blocks is for a veteran Yoga user that is looking for a hardened surface to complete more advanced poses. A hard surface is needed to achieve new heights with your practice. Though it might not be for beginners, it will provide a stable platform to develop any pose.
This bamboo set of Yoga blocks is beautiful and dependable. The lacquer applied to help with non-slip properties is something to marvel at in looks and performance. Maji takes time to make sure that their products aren’t just pleasing to the eyes, but functional as well. The smooth body fits well with the rounded edges and high sheen.
- Made from one of the faster-growing grasses on the planet, making it 100% renewable
- Weighs less than 2 pounds and are easy to take anywhere
- They are made in LA with imported bamboo, which gives them a beautiful color
- Hollow center that makes them reliable but light for moving up and down the mat
One of the main attractions of a Yoga block is that it might be good for the environment. YogaAccessories makes a block from New Zealand pine that is worthy of almost any list. It has a gentle tiger-striped pattern that is easy on the eyes while having a near negative impact on the environment.
- Sanded smooth with beveled edges for comfort
- It provides a very firm base to perform more difficult Yoga poses and asanas
- 100% natural and renewable resource with zero impact on the environment during processing.
- Added hollow core on some models makes them easily useable by all skill levels of Yoga exerciser.
New Zealand pine is some of the most beautiful wood available on the planet and having a set for your top-notch Yoga mat is a must. The grip is magnificent and using them gives a stable space to clear the mind.
Whatever your skill level, there is a yoga block out there for you. As you progress in your practice, you may add new sets to your collection to expand your poses and deepen your stretches. Hopefully, this guide has helped lead the way to enhancing your yoga practice.
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