Yoga Blocks: A Complete Buying Guide, History & Ways To Use Them

Yoga blocks; if you’re new to yoga you may have seen them at the studio carefully lined up next to the yoga mats and straps, but what exactly are they and more importantly, why should you add them into your yoga practice?

A yoga block (sometimes called yoga bricks) are firm but comfortable rectangular shapes made specifically for yoga and movement practices. Designed to help practitioners find support in postures, yoga blocks help to ‘bring the ground closer,’ improve alignment, offer support and accessibility for both beginners and seasoned yogis alike. 

Introduced by B. K. S. Iyengar, founder of the alignment-focussed Iyengar Yoga in the United States in the 1970s, yoga blocks are now used in other styles of practice such as restorative yoga, Yin yoga and even power and dynamic classes. 

The earliest yoga blocks were made of wood, which although offered excellent support and durability they provided little comfort. They were hard, often heavy, expensive, and tend to become slippery when wet. This led to the development of other materials including foams, rubbers and cork.  

       Fable Cork Yoga Blocks, £18 or two for £30


Foam vs Cork Yoga Blocks

Which yoga blocks are better, foam or cork? You may have seen both on the market and there are a few factors to consider when purchasing yoga blocks. The size, weight, comfort levels and sustainability of the materials used all play a factor.

Foam blocks are lightweight, cheap and readily available.  While generally more expensive, cork blocks are crafted for longevity. Weightier than foam yoga blocks, cork blocks provide excellent support. 

Fable cork yoga blocks are crafted with Portuguese cork that is smooth and comfortable to touch and offers excellent eco and sustainability credentials. Naturally anti-bacterial and biodegradable, cork is also a naturally renewable material. 

5 Ways To Release Shoulder Tension With Yoga Blocks

Whether it’s bringing the ground closer to you in forward fold or adding stability under your hand in extended side angle, there are lots of ways to use cork yoga blocks. 

You can use a single block or use two under both hands - the choice is yours.

Struggling with tension in the shoulders? You’re not alone - too much time sitting in the car, at our desks or hunched over a phone can create pain and tension. Why not tree these 5 simple stretches with yoga blocks from Fable Ambassador Esther Marie below:

Tight Shoulders: Try These Yoga Stretches

Puppy Pose

Puppy pose is a great way to open up the shoulders but have you tried it with yoga blocks? Simply rest your elbows on yoga blocks to create more space. Try to keep the lower back lifted so you work into the shoulders and not the back.

Side Lying

You can even do this posture watching tv or while reading! Lay down on your side with your elbow on a block. This helps to release tension in the side of the shoulder and neck. Just don’t forget to do both sides! 

Criss Cross Arms

Lay on your front and place your forehead on a block. Thread one arm underneath the other to work into the backs of the shoulders. Rest for several minutes before releasing the arms and repeating on the opposite side. 

Reverse Reach

Sit kneeling on a block. Reach our arms back behind you and hold onto another block and pulse. A dynamic way to get some movement and mobility into the shoulders while opening up the chest. 

Supported Butterfly

Ready to restore to close the sequence? Try supported butterfly. Simply place one block between the shoulder blades and one under your head as you allow your weight to sink down into the yoga mat. Soles of the feet can touch or legs can be extended.

Inspired to incorporate blocks into your yoga practice? Why not shop our best selling cork yoga blocks today? Add two at checkout to receive a discount (2 blocks for £30).