A mat may be the number one must-have for your next yoga flow, but it’s not the only prop that can give your practice a boost. A good yoga block (or a set of ’em) comes in handy for so many reasons in various different types of yoga.
“Blocks can help you go deeper into a pose not only physically, but also mentally, because you know you have that additional support,” says certified yoga teacher and trainer Suki Clements, CPT, RYT. “They aren’t just for those new to an asana practice, either. I invite my students, whether in an absolute beginner class or an advanced class, to use props.”
Not terribly comfortable sitting cross-legged during breathwork or meditation? Pop a yoga block underneath your seat. Can’t quite reach your palms to the floor in a standing forward fold? A pair of blocks below your hands brings the floor up closer to you.
You can also use yoga blocks to check your form. “A block between the hands helps teach proper placement of the thumbs and forefingers in Adho Mukho Savasaha (a.k.a. Downward Facing Dog),” explains Lisa Burnett, certified Pranakriya prenatal yoga instructor and owner of My OM Yoga.
Oh, and if you want to turn up the heat during your next series of core-blasting poses, a block can do that, too. Say you’re in boat pose, squeeze a block between your thighs, Burnett suggests.
The best yoga blocks for you, though, depend on your practice. If you’re working on inversions or need stability through a challenging, strength-building flow, you’ll need sturdy blocks, says Clements. In these cases, cork comes in clutch. However, if you need softer blocks to rest on during a restorative session, foam is the way to go.
Whatever your style on the mat, one of the following yoga blocks—all trusted favorites of yoga teachers themselves—will support you through every pose.
Best Cork Yoga Block
Manduka Premium High-Density Cork Yoga Block
“Manduka is my go-to for yoga gear and this block is my fave,” says Nike Master Trainer Alex Silver-Fagan, CPT, RYT, creator of Flow Into Strong.
How come, you ask? “It’s sturdy and supportive to provide extra lift in poses like triangle and side angle,” she explains. “It’s also great for standing on to test your balance and to squeeze between your thighs to incorporate some core and glute work.”
Best Foam Yoga Block
Hugger Mugger Foam Yoga Block
This block is more than just pretty (I mean, check out that pattern). “It’s great because it’s lightweight but still offers full support and stability,” says Clements. “It’s the perfect weight in my opinion!”
Clements loves its beveled edges, which makes it more comfortable during restorative or Yin yoga than a pick with sharper…
Read More: The 9 Best Yoga Blocks Of 2020 For Home Or Studio Practice