I love yoga props. Truly. The use of a yoga prop can really make or break your practice. Although there are many yoga props to choose from, today we’re going to be focusing on yoga blocks, as these are the most helpful props for achieving a full split in yoga.
Yoga blocks can be made out of a variety of materials. You can find cork blocks, foam blocks, and even wooden blocks! My personal favorite are the Alo Yoga blocks because while they’re foam, they’re still quite dense.
I like to use a dense block, because it feels more stable than a flimsy foam block. Although the sturdiness of a yoga block is important, I personally still find the wooden blocks to be a little too hard. To each their own, though! Play around with it, and see what your preference is.
Yoga blocks come in handy for nearly every shape. Whether you’re struggling to touch the ground with your hands in Low Lizard, or you need a little help with your balance in Half Moon- yoga blocks have got you covered on all bases.
Keep in mind, yoga blocks are not only used for beginners to modify shapes. They can also be used to make a posture more advanced, as well. Oftentimes yoga props are looked at as something only beginners need. And the truth of the matter is that’s just not true. If you know how to use your yoga block in the right way, it can take you a heck of a lot deeper into the pose than you’d have been able to go on your own.
3 Tips On How To Use Yoga Blocks For Full Splits
This post will outline how to use yoga blocks in full splits for stability, support, and lengthening. I’ll also cover how to position the blocks, how many to use, and the differing levels of yoga blocks in relation to the pose.
To learn more on achieving Full Splits, check out my series Journey to Splits for a full month of classes, drills, and meditations for your splits journey.
Yoga blocks can provide a grounding and stabilizing force when you’re starting your Splits journey. Using blocks is a great way to try an advanced posture, without needing to go to the fullest depth all on your own. While blocks can assist yogis who are a little tighter, or newer to Full Splits, these props can also help to take advanced yogis to the next level with their Splits practice, as well.
Yoga Blocks For Stability
For this option, start in Half Splits Pose. You’ll need two blocks under your hands placed on the highest setting to start. From here, take a full breath in to lift up and out of your waist by squeezing your inner thighs, and pressing deeply into your blocks with your hands. As you exhale, start to push your front foot forward as much as you slide your back foot behind you.
Continue to press a lot of weight into your hands to create more stability in the pose. Sending weight into the blocks will help to hold you up, rather than dumping all of your weight into your hips and inner thighs right away. Think of the blocks under your hands as breaks. The harder you press into them, the less sensation you’ll feel in the legs, because the higher up you’ll be lifted.
Once you reach your edge, pause and breathe for at least 5 breaths. If you want more, lower the setting of your blocks to the medium height. For more, lower them to the lowest height. The lower the blocks are, the more sensation you’ll feel, because your groin will be closer to the ground.
Keep your hands on blocks in Full Splits for as long as you need. Eventually, your hands will be on the ground instead of the blocks.
Yoga Blocks For Support
Using yoga blocks for stability as outlined above is a quite strong version of Full Splits, because of the pressing and lifting. If you’re looking for something a little more supportive, then try this option.
Start in Half Splits Pose with two blocks handy on the lowest setting. Keep the hands on the ground in Half Splits Pose. And take a full breath into preparation, lifting up and out of the low belly. With your exhale, slide the front forward as you shimmy the back foot behind you until you find your edge. Your groin will likely be lifted quite high from the ground.
From here, grab for your blocks and slide one under your front leg, as well as one under your back leg until you can rest or body weight onto the blocks. If it’s comfortable for you, you can also position one or two blocks underneath your groin area, and rest onto them in the center.
The higher up the blocks are, the higher the groin is from the ground- which means you’ll feel less sensation than if the blocks and groin are lowered. Adjust the height of your blocks according to your needs. Remember, each side might vary.
Yoga Blocks For Lengthening
For my advanced yogis, or just those of you with flexy hamstrings, this option is for you. Please don’t try this if you don’t already have Full Splits on your own. This is an oversplit variation
Start in one block on the lowest setting place in front of your front foot in Half Splits Pose. Use your inhale to lift your front foot up and onto the block, so your heel is grounded in the center of the block. As you exhale, glide your back foot behind you to work your groin towards the ground. Stay and breathe.
If you want to feel more sensation in the lengthening of your front hamstring, come out and lift the block up onto the medium setting. Repeat with the block on this new height. For even more, stack two blocks on the lowest setting. This will be more stable than one block on the highest setting.
In this variation, the higher up the blocks are the more sensation you’ll feel in the lengthening of your hamstring of your front leg, and hip flexor of your back leg. Adjust the height of your blocks according to the needs of your own body.
Now you can use yoga blocks to play with Full Splits in all sorts of ways! I hope these new variations feel good, challenging, and supportive in your practice.
For more on splits with yoga blocks, check out this post.