There are lots of different types of yoga flows and practices. Some of them are simple and require only your body and a mat.
For more complex stretches you can use yoga aids to help you until you are strong enough and flexible enough to do them on your own. Yoga equipment can also be very useful for people who need some more support but still want to take part in yoga.
Yoga boxes, also called yoga blocks, are one of the most useful forms of yoga equipment that you can use. People often get them confused with yoga bricks or yoga bolsters, which are different types of yoga equipment.
This guide will explain the various types of yoga equipment including yoga boxes and what they are used for.
1. Yoga Box
Yoga boxes, also called yoga blocks. They are solid blocks often made out of cork or dense EVA foam. Yoga blocks are used in various ways to improve your yoga practice.
They can make yoga more accessible for people with limited flexibility, can provide support if you find a position challenging, and can also help you to attempt more ambitious positions.
If you are performing a forward bend but you can’t reach the floor, you can use a yoga block to close the gap between your hands and the mat. This prevents you from forcing your body to stretch more than is comfortable which reduces the risk of injury.
You can use the yoga block at different angles to adjust the height, or stack them up.
Yoga blocks can also be used to provide support in certain positions.
For example, in a seated butterfly pose you could place yoga blocks underneath your thighs to provide some support and make the position more comfortable whilst still stretching the right areas of your body.
This is particularly useful if you have a vulnerability of stiffness in a certain area and you want to avoid hurting yourself.
You can also use a yoga block to attempt challenging poses, like the flipped dog pose or the rainbow warrior pose. The yoga block can also take the fear out of attempting these difficult, more advanced poses by giving you a bit of help.
Cork Or Foam?
Should you choose a cork yoga block or a foam yoga block? Cork yoga blocks are made from a natural material which is eco-friendly. They will not lose their shape and are very sturdy.
If you apply too much weight or pressure then it is possible that the block could crack or split. Make sure that you check the maximum weight capacity of the yoga block before you use it.
EVA foam yoga blocks are made oout of synthetic materials, but they are often eco-friendly. Foam blocks are very durable and won’t split, but they sometimes lose their shape or become deformed over time.
One of the benefits of EVA foam yoga blocks is that they come in different colors. This means that you can pick a color that goes with the rest of your yoga equipment.
Cork and foam yoga blocks are both great and will help to improve your yoga practice.
2. Yoga Brick
Yoga bricks are very similar to yoga blocks or boxes. They tend to be made from the same materials, but they are thinner and flatter. They give you a stable, flat surface to work with which is good for balancing and gripping.
They are also excellent for supporting your head, hips or your back in certain poses. You can use a yoga brick to close the gap between your arms if you have limited shoulder mobility.
Some people can be judgemental when it comes to using yoga bricks in your practice – they see it as ‘cheating’. However, using yoga bricks can actually be very helpful and can greatly improve your yoga skills.
Developing your strength and flexibility gradually is much better for you and will help you to avoid injury. This means that you are making your body stronger and fitter, and you will get much further on your yoga journey.
Yoga is more than a physical exercise, it is also a spiritual practice. It should be accessible to all, and yoga equipment like yoga bricks makes this possible.
Yoga bricks tend to be made out of EVA foam, but you can also get some that are made out of cork. They are available in lots of different colors.
3. Yoga Bolster
Yoga bolsters are a type of firm cushion or pillow. They are often cylindrical, but also come in more rectangular shapes. They are larger than yoga bricks and yoga blocks or boxes, but they are not solid.
They are designed to be comfortable, relieving the pressure from certain parts of your body during your yoga practice.
Yoga bolsters are particularly helpful during restorative yoga. Try placing it under your neck in a savasana position, or lengthways along your spine in a supported fish pose.
A yoga bolster is a very useful piece of equipment to keep close by during your yoga practice. You can use it in lots of different positions on many different parts of your body.
These cushions also come in very useful during yin yoga, when you need to hold a position for a long period of time. Using a bolster in the right way will help to prevent injury and make your yoga practice much more comfortable.
A lot of people also use yoga bolsters during meditation. They provide extra support and comfort in whatever position you like to meditate in – seated, lying down etc – to get rid of any distractions caused by discomfort.
Yoga bolsters come in lots of different colors and can be made out of various materials such as cotton, organic vegan suede, or synthetic fabrics.
4. Yoga Strap
Yoga straps, also called yoga belts, are really useful for deepening your stretches and improving your flexibility.
They make challenging yoga positions much more accessible, helping you to push yourself further in a safe way so that you can make progress with your yoga practice.
If you want to try a dancer’s pose but you know you aren’t flexible enough, you can use a yoga strap around your foot and hold on to it with your hands to close the gap.
As you become more flexible you can gradually shorten the yoga strap until eventually you can reach without the belt.
There are lots of different poses that are suitable for yoga straps.It’s a very helpful aid to prevent injury. You can get different strength yoga straps, and you can also get stretchy ones as well as the solid ones.
A lot of yoga straps are made out of polyester, cotton or polypropelene. The stretchy yoga bands are made out of rubber or latex.
5. Yoga Cushion
Yoga cushions are similar to yoga bolsters. They are soft and comfortable, but they tend to come in round or square shapes.
They are predominantly used for meditation and restorative poses, but can also be used for yin yoga if you need to hold one position for an extended time. You can also use yoga cushions to provide different parts of your body during your yoga practice.
You can place them under your back, neck, hips or knees to ease the pressure on your joints.
Yoga can be challenging but it is not supposed to be painful. Making sure that you are comfortable is an important part of your yoga practice. This is why it is a good idea to keep some yoga cushions close to hand so you can grab one whenever you need one.
Yoga cushions come in lots of different colors and materials. Some of them even have decorative designs on them which can help to decorate your yoga space. You can find yoga cushions with various levels of firmness to suit your needs.
6. Yoga Wheel
Yoga wheels are used to help improve your flexibility and deepen your stretches. For example, you can use a yoga wheel to support your back during a wheel pose.
Yoga wheels tend to have a non-slip surface that will grip to your mat. This means that the yoga wheel won’t slide out from underneath you, even if it gets a bit sweaty.
If you want to try some more advanced yoga positions, you can use your yoga wheel to attempt rocking positions like the rocking lizard pose. This engages your core and strengthens your muscles.
You can also use a yoga wheel for support and balance if you place it on its side. Another benefit is that they can be used for deep tissue massage.
Yoga boxes, also called yoga blocks, are a very useful yoga tool that can help to improve your practice. They should be used alongside other types of yoga equipment to help you achieve your yoga goals.