Are Handstand Blocks and Yoga Blocks the same?
Are Handstand blocks and Yoga blocks the same? In this blog post, I will break down these two amazing tools so that you can see how they are different from one another. Both handstand blocks and yoga blocks have their own advantage to them. I will also recommend which item is best suited for what activity to get the most use out of your purchase.
What are Handstand Blocks?
Handstand blocks are a type of hand-held block that has been specifically designed to help make handstands easier. Handstand blocks can be used by themselves, or you can stack them on top of one another to increase the height to provide more support and a different challenge for your handstand practice.
Handstands are often performed in wooden, bamboo, or foam handstand platforms to grip and balance on. And they are generally abit smaller than yoga blocks, around the size of your palm.
Handstand blocks can make a huge difference for those who are starting to hold their balance while upside down. They also allow you to practice handstand of different heights to work on the same level ground when practicing this skill.
Benefits of Handstand Blocks
Adding Handstand Blocks to your handstand practice will improve your balances while inverted on the floor. Handstand blocks offer several benefits, such as improving your flexibility, strength, and balance.
Increased flexibility level: Handstand blocks allow you to stretch your muscles more efficiently than just standing on the floor. Handstand Blocks are a great way to improve your form when practicing handstands.
Performing a handstand requires good wrist flexibility, which can be more difficult for some people, but the blocks reduce this stress on your wrists!
Stronger Fingers, Wrists, and Forearms: All good gymnasts know the importance of wrist strength, and with Handstand Blocks, you can strengthen your wrists through finger grip exercises. By placing the heel of your palm closer to the edge on a regular will also relieve pressure in joints from being pressed against flat surfaces.
As you are required to grab the block firmly with your hands while using your forearms simultaneously, Handstand Blocks allow you to develop stronger fingers. With stronger fingers, you can reduce the likelihood of injury to your joints.
Improved Balance: Handstand blocks are a great way to get comfortable balancing upside down. The large, round surface area makes it much easier than balancing on the ground with uneven surfaces and distractions below.
When Should You Use Handstand Blocks?
A Handstand block is ideal for beginners who are yet to master the perfect balance with only their hands on the ground. For more advanced practitioners, when starting with one-arm balancing training, a hand-grip is better than a floor grip as it provides more support and stability, especially if your grip strength is growing or you are trying out new balances that require two arms.
How to Use Handstand Blocks?
You are not only limited to one handstand variation, so practice different ways and find your favourite! Challenge yourself by practicing different variations and make it a challenging routine to get the best results for YOU!
Practicing a few variations of the same skill is always a good practice, but don’t be afraid to mix it up if what you have been doing isn’t working out well or doesn't feel right anymore. Everyone has their own preference over time. It's important to listen carefully when something just feels off while performing a particular handstand variation. There may be some minor adjustments needed to make sure everything is perfect.
How to grip onto Handstand Blocks?
Gripping a block with 2 or 3 fingers in the front and thumb on one side is vital for achieving balance. Keep your little finger (pinky) to grip the other side of the block so that you can have control from both directions while trying to find your balance! Make sure not to use all four fingers at once in the front of the block because it will make finding your centre balance more difficult. Keeping a towel nearby helps wipe away any sweat before gripping, as this makes balancing much easier when there’s less moisture.
Mistakes to Avoid When Using Handstand Blocks
- Handstand blocks are not just for beginners. Beginners need to build up strength and confidence in their balance before they can use handstand blocks safely. While the more experienced use Handstand blocks to practice different handstand variations to improve their skills
- Overhead the weight of your body by keeping elbows bent and knees soft when you're getting out of a handstand block.
- When going back into a handstand, make sure that your spine is lined up with the wrists, so it's clear which way you will come down (you don't want this decision being made at the last second).
- Handstand blocks are not to be used as a bench.
- Always check your balance on either side of the block before you start lifting your body up and down from it.
- You should always maintain a good posture when using handstand blocks for any exercise.
- Use the blocks on a dry flat surface to avoid injuries
What are Yoga Blocks?
Yoga blocks are small, rectangular pieces of blocks that you can use to support your body during certain yoga poses. Most blocks are made of sturdy material such as foam, cork, wood, or bamboo and can be shaped like a rectangular brick.
Yoga props, in general, have many functions, including facilitating poses for beginners to challenging those who want more out of their yoga practice.
It is important that one uses them properly when working on different poses, so they don't end up hurting themselves while trying to reach the correct position with ease by using these blocks!
You can find yoga blocks in a variety of shapes and sizes nowadays. Some are made to resemble half-moons, cubes, or even egg like shape! But, the most common among all types would have to be rectangular bricks.
Rectangular shapes are usually the best yoga blocks as they provide the biggest surface area, making alignment easier. They also relieve tension from your hands during often strenuous sessions where you might need some extra help holding onto things.
Benefits of Yoga Blocks
Yoga blocks are one of the most essential items in a yoga studio and offer multiple benefits. Below are a few key benefits of yoga blocks you can enjoy:
Offer Flexibility: They allow you to modify poses that would otherwise be too difficult, decrease your distance from ground level. This reduces the risk of hurting yourself when making certain moves.
Advanced yogis use yoga blocks as obstacles to challenge and take themselves to the next level. With these tools, they can perform a similar stretch or workout in various ways, such as back push-ups.
A single item can create new movements within traditional exercises like sit-ups while enabling a more effective range of motion.
Prevent Injury: You can use yoga blocks to support your body weight when sitting on a chair, or they may offer additional stability for poses where you need more balance and strength.
For instance, using a block while performing Virasana (Hero Pose) will help protect knees from being uncomfortably compressed against hard surfaces like floor mats during this long-held pose. Meanwhile, it stretches out thighs with a gentle pressure that is safe without risk of injury!
Improve Proper Alignment: Yoga blocks can assist with proper alignment and provide support to alleviate discomfort in difficult poses, such as Parsvakonasana.
The Side Angle Pose (Parsvakonasana) is one of the most rewarding poses for your body. This pose can promote flexibility, strength, and balance while lengthening the spine to improve posture. It also stimulates digestion by stimulating organs, like what happens when you eat or drink something cold that sends impulses from these organs up into your stomach.
However, the full pose is not achievable for most people due to a lack of flexibility or balance. Keeping one hand against the block behind you while practicing will help avoid this problem and avoid injury. This will prevent any downward pressure from being applied through either arm during practice.
When Should You Use Yoga Blocks?
Yoga blocks are a great way to break down the barrier of entry for poses that require more strength. For beginners, it can be intimidating to lift their feet even if they have enough upper-body and core strength; yoga blocks provide support at just the right moments to build up confidence or help with balance issues.
Yoga blocks are a helpful tool for any yogi. They allow you to activate muscles in your body that could have been inaccessible otherwise, and they help add some extra burn into common yoga poses! It's simple: try adding them into your routine and see how much of an impact it has on the way you practice.
You can also deepen your stretch with blocks, which will allow you to progress to the next level quickly.
How to Use Yoga Blocks?
There are many ways to use yoga blocks. The following are some of the most effective and popular ways to use yoga blocks:
- Put a block under your forehead. If you hold the child's pose for long periods, you may experience discomfort even if your forehead touches the ground quickly. You can relieve some back and hip pressure by placing a block or two under your forehead.
- Put the blocks under your elbows. Place your hands in reverse prayer behind your head and place your arms on blocks for a deeper Child's Pose. The triceps and shoulders are stretched in this variation.
- Put your hands on blocks. If you have difficulty transitioning from Downward Facing Dog to Lunge and cannot place your foot entirely on the ground, you can also increase the elevation with a yoga block.
- Put a block between the thighs. A classic variation of this Chair pose. Hold the pose with your knees squeezed while holding a thin block between your thighs. It will strengthen your inner thighs and pelvic floor, as well as your knees will remain aligned.
- Put a block under the hips. The simple bridge pose with a block is a great way to relax at the end of the day. It relieves tension from the hip flexors, spine and opens the chest.
Things to Consider When Buying Yoga Blocks
Getting the right yoga blocks is very important for both beginners and experienced yogis. This is why I have listed some facts you should think about when choosing a yoga block:
Shape: Traditional blocks are rectangular with a flat top and low sides. These blocks are made out of foam and have a density that's best for grounding down into the earth.
Width: Depending on how wide you want the block to be, some yoga blocks come in multiple sizes up to 18 inches wide. If you're using bamboo or wood as the material for your block, consider their thickness when determining width.
Bamboo is typically thinner than wood but also lighter weight. Wood will usually take about three times longer before it warps under pressure compared to bamboo and often has natural markings that make each one unique.
Material: There are different types of materials that yoga blocks are made from. One popular option is cork, which will usually last longer than foam blocks.
If you're looking to buy new eco-friendly blocks, consider sustainable cork which are durable, eco-friendly and have natural colours already.
Plastic and other artificial materials may cause an allergic reaction if they contain petroleum products. Take this into consideration as well when purchasing your next set of yoga blocks!
Types of Yoga Blocks
Sizes & Shapes
Yoga Blocks usually come in three sizes:
- 4 x 6 x 9 inches (standard),
- 3 x 6x9 inch (medium) and
The size correlates to how deep they reach into each pose. Deeper stretches require larger-sized rocks because gravity will not help draw our muscle back up towards us as it does without an object behind it. As a result, we need more weight behind ourselves if we want better results from these types of exercises.
Yoga blocks can come in different shapes and sizes to suit any need, with the most traditional form being a rectangular cube or brick.
Egg-shaped yoga blocks are great for reclining poses and back bends, thanks to their curved design.
There's no limit on creativity! Your yoga block may look like a half-circle that is best for arm balancing poses. So don't get too surprised coming across one out there!
Wooden yoga blocks are the original type of block for yoga. They provide stability during a wide range of poses and motions.
The humble wooden block was discovered by accident when yogis found they needed some sort of prop while doing seated poses or sitting in a lotus position on the floor.
Yoga blocks made of wood are a great eco-friendly option. They can be constructed from sustainable pine, bamboo, or birch and provide a sturdy foundation for building strength and balance exercises. Additionally, they don't require any hassle to clean (just some soap & water) and maintains their natural look with no added chemical treatments!
Wooden yoga blocks are not the ideal yoga tool to carry around. They're heavy, expensive, and hard on travel bags.
Wooden blocks can make great Yoga props when at home. Still, unfortunately, these same benefits don't translate well in an outdoor setting like parks or beaches where people might need their backpack space reserved primarily, so it doesn't get too hot outside after being used as a makeshift seat cushion!
Cork yoga blocks are the new, improved yoga block. They provide stability during a wide range of poses and motions with cork's antibacterial properties to protect against bacteria build-up that can't be found in foam blocks (due to their porous surface). Cork is an eco-friendly material harvested from cedar trees without harming them.
The cork yoga block was created by two sisters who were inspired by the tree cork used for wine bottle stoppers and cork flooring they had installed at home while renovating!
Cork yoga blocks are a great alternative to traditional wooden ones. They are durable with a non-slip surface that is easy to grip, thanks partly because of their flaky texture, which does not absorb water like the smooth woodblock would and stays dry for hours on end.
At Erthe Life, we are all about conscious living and we find that cork is a great innovative and afford material to be used for yoga blocks. You can check out our sustainable cork yoga blocks here
A foam yoga block is a perfect option for beginners and those who don't want a heavy, expensive block at home. They provide stability during a wide range of poses and motions while still lightweight enough to carry around everywhere with you in your yoga bag!
Regular foam can be made from petroleum-based chemicals or plant-derived organic materials. The choice is yours so read the product labels carefully before purchasing. Although foam blocks have a lot of options and it’s also very economical, but yoga is a very intimate practice, touching your head with toxic chemical blocks could be harmful and not worth the extra few dollars you’re saving.
In general, foam blocks still does a great job in terms of being affordable, durable, and easy to clean (just soap & water). Their porous surface also provides good grip, whether indoors on a hardwood floor or outdoors on the ground.
The porous surface of foam blocks makes them a good option for absorbing sweat and moisture. This can be problematic if you're practicing in an indoor location that is supposed to stay dry! It's best to put down a towel or yoga mat before using your yoga block unless you don't mind having it start wet every time.
You might also want to consider something more eco-friendly than regular polyurethane foam because it off-gases harmful chemicals like phthalates. These chemicals may have unintended consequences such as hormone disruption during pregnancy or injury prevention due to lack of joint stability from faulty alignment principles.
There are a few other downsides of using foam blocks. Poor quality foam blocks can be flimsy and might collapse under your body weight or get scratched easily from wear-and-tear. Some foam blocks can be too light-weight and cannot provide enough balance support for certain poses even if it is the right size.
Mistakes to Avoid When Using Yoga Blocks
The following are some common mistakes yogis make during their yoga practice. These are not something we want you to do:
- You might not want to use yoga blocks on a public beach or park because they're too heavy and bulky.
- One Yoga Block vs. Two Yoga Blocks: We recommend practicing with two blocks as it's better than just having one block under each hand during poses that require stability from both sides (such as single-leg forward bend). Having two blocks is preferred for all yogis, especially when you are just starting out doing yoga.
So which blocks are the best to use?
I hope you’ve found the answer to your question throughout this blog post, but if not, please feel free to comment below or contact me directly if you have any questions.
When choosing whether to use a Handstand block or a Yoga block for your practice, it all depends on your primary goals. Handstand blocks are generally smaller but big enough for your hands to grip around it and support your bodyweight. Yoga blocks are larger and are widely used to get into different positions and poses. While at the same time, a handstand block can also be used to get into difficult positions especially for the more advanced as the blocks are smaller.
You may find yourself needing both types of blocks at different times in your practice, so I recommend you to work out your goals and find the right correct size to achieve them!
As part of my movement journey, I regularly use both the Handstand and Yoga Blocks. Not only do they both assist with my handstand practice, yoga sessions, but they are also great tools to use for warm up and fitness practices.
At Erthe Life, we offer both sustainable Handstand blocks and Yoga Blocks. Our Handstand blocks are made with eco-friendly bamboo material with a hollow design so they are lightweight and can be easily carried around. Our Yoga blocks are made with sustainable cork material as cork has great antibacterial properties and they are long lasting.
To get started with your first blocks or you looking for new blocks to improve your practice, check out our Yoga and Handstand Collection for a great variety of eco-friendly Yoga and Handstand Blocks. All our equipment are designed and tested by professionals practitioners for maximum performance and durability.
Below are our top selling Eco-friendly Yoga and Handstand Blocks:
Perfect size for handstands made with eco-friendly materials