Bricks, Blocks and Wedges – Why, What and When?

In the 1970s  B. K. S. Iyengar became well known for the introduction of using props in Yoga to assist practitioners in achieving correct body alignment. This approach is especially good for either beginners seeking a good foundation for more advanced Yoga or the elderly who need assistance. As with any craft, it is best to learn the correct technique first before progressing to greater challenges.
Bricksblocks and wedges can provide the means to build inner strength and allow a greater variation of poses to engage core muscles using the correct body posture.
 

Yoga Bricks (Blocks roughly the size of a house brick)

Bricks are the most flexible prop in the Yogis toolkit and are therefore the primary item of choice. It can be used:

  • As an extension of the arms to provide a greater variety of poses with different difficulty levels.
  • As an aid for beginners or less mobile to perform less strenuous movements.
  • To provide support for the back, head, and hips in a variety of additional poses.
  •  Assisting in body alignment.
Older yoga blocks were made from solid wood but their usage has declined in favour of softer materials such as cork or foam. These are more ergonomic, lighter and provide the stability that is required. A brief overview can be found here (The blocks described here are larger than a house brick but the usage is similar).
brickA wide variety of bricks or slightly larger blocks are available from a number of manufacturers from our store:

Larger Yoga Blocks (Used in a different way)

A larger block is usually made of soft but firm material to provide cushioning and elevation for seated poses, the yoga block relieves strain on the hips and knees. The main difference between a block and a brick is the dimensions, a block is thinner and has a greater surface area allowing them to be used in seated poses. Recycled chip foam is also available for the environmentally conscious.

The Yoga Studio Store stocks a number of different varieties including one made from recycled chip foam for the environmentally conscious:

Wedges

Yoga is typically practiced on hard gym floors which may be hard on the knees, hands and feet. They provide cushioning or an angle of elevation to alleviate the stress on the joints. Wedges can be used in a variety of ways, on different parts of the body to achieve the desired effect. Examples of their usage include:
  •  Support – placing the wedge under a beginner’s heels will allow for more stress-free squats. 
  • Cushioning – placing the wedge under the knees can minimise discomfort when performing certain poses.
  • Alleviate pain – placing the wedge under the wrists will change the joints angle when doing the plank pose.

Wedges are available through the store from a variety of manufacturers and further information on their usage may be found here:

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