Depending on which yoga camp you're in, props may or may not be your thing. I believe that they can be extremely helpful, especially after an injury or when first starting a yoga practice. Either way, its important that YOU decide what's right for YOU.
Below are some of my favorite ways to utilize one yoga block in your practice.
Improve Your Strength & Stability
Place a block under your standing leg during a one-legged pose and feel the stabilizer muscles up-level the workout. Try it with Tree, Dancer or Standing Figure 4 (pictured below).
As you improve the strength throughout the ankle and knee joints, your overall balance will improve as well. Why does this matter? Balance helps not only with standing, but also walking, running and correcting safely when you almost roll an ankle. Pretty important stuff!
Increase Your Flexibility
Are forward folds pretty "easy" for you? Try adding a block to increase flexibility by extending the distance of the floor from your hands. In a standing fold, place the block under your feet and continue reaching towards the floor. This will not only make you reach further for a deeper stretch, but will also encourage your hips to stack over the ankles and utilize the abdominal muscles for stabilization.
For a seated fold, place the block at the soles of your feet. This will allow you to reach for the end of the block and use it as leverage to deepen the stretch.
Improve Your Posture
Getting a little lazy in your Mountain Pose? Use a block in between your thighs to activate the legs and improve your posture. Squeezing the block allows you to tune into externally or internally rotating your thighs (depending on your musculature) to distribute weight evenly between both feet and lift both arches. Once you find the appropriate activation for you, keep the block during your Sun Salutations and notice the difference.
Tiffany Lord is a private yoga coach, founder of Love + Asana and resident instructor for the International Headache Center. Her passion is helping people reconnect to their bodies for more strength, flexibility and confidence with a personalized approach to movement & mindfulness. She truly believes whether you feel "out of shape" from persistent pain, past injuries or a stressful life change, you can feel better and live the life you want with yoga. Learn more about working 1:1 with Tiffany here