Pros: Easy to grasp, solid, durable, lightweight ? many ways to use them.
Cons: Will scuff and mar over time or with rough use.
There are many ways to use yoga bricks to improve posture and maintain position during yoga poses. I didnt realize how versatile yoga bricks are in a workout until a friend introduced me to the term brick and what it meant. She and her husband use them regularly during their yoga exercises. When I purchased my Yoga Essentials Toolkit, it came with two Yoga Essentials Bricks. Since I now owned them, I decided to learn how to properly use them!
Yoga Essentials Bricks
Each yoga brick measures 3" high x 5 1/2" wide x 9" long. My yoga bricks are aqua in color to match the yoga mat that came in the Yoga Essentials Toolkit. Most commonly seen are bricks in either blue, green or purple. With a velvety smoothness, these bricks are easy to grasp and hold. They are made of a solid, odorless foam material that while durable will eventually show wear. My yoga bricks still look great, but I dont give them a hard workout. The material will show scratches and dents if given rough treatment. Since the bricks are lightweight, they are very easy to carry, though they do take up space in my yoga bag. These bricks sell for between $10 and $12 each. They are easy to care for, too. To clean the bricks, wipe with a damp cloth and dry with a towel. Avoid placing them in excessive sunlight.
While the above dimensions are a standard brick size, yoga bricks (sometimes known as blocks) also come in other shapes and sizes. Bricks are also made from a variety of materials.
Other Types of Yoga Bricks
There are other types of bricks available. Here are a few of the popular brick materials:
The traditional yoga brick is made of solid wood, which can be heavy. Some wooden yoga bricks are hollow to make them lighter. The woods used to make yoga bricks can vary from hardwoods to pine, birch and even bamboo, which is technically a grass. Wooden yoga bricks cost about $20 to $25 each.
Cork bricks are lightweight with good feel that offers traction for a solid grip. Lighter and softer than wood, they offer texture so that a sweaty hand is less likely to slip. These bricks are also environment-friendly compared to foam which is not. Depending on the dimensions, cork bricks weigh about 1 1/2 pounds. Cork bricks sell for about $12 to $16 for each brick.
Duralite bricks boast that its technically advanced construction makes this the lightest foam yoga brick available. The manufacturer says that Duralite outlasts traditional foam blocks and maintains its lustrous finish. Duralite bricks sell for between $8 to $15 per brick.
The Benefits of Yoga Bricks
* Provide Lift
* Add Support
* Extend Reach
* Help Maintain Correct Position
* Strength-Building Aid
How Do I Use Yoga Bricks
Yoga bricks are often used in pairs. Depending upon how the bricks are placed on the floor, each brick offers three different size surfaces. Ill use my Yoga Essential brick dimensions as an example. Lay the brick flat on the floor (as if laying bricks flat for building a wall), and the brick measures 3" deep. Set the brick upright on its long side, and the brick stands 5 1/2" tall. Place the brick vertically on its short side, and it offers a 9" height. Make sure the bricks sit on a stable flat surface so that they dont tip over during use.
The below examples are not meant as professional advise. They are only to demonstrate the various ways yoga bricks can be used. These examples are not meant as step-by-step instructions for a pose. Please seek the assistance of a skilled yogi or teacher for a complete demonstration of these postures.
Here are some different ways yoga bricks can aid yoga poses:
Bricks can provide lift to seated postures. For example, when doing the Butterfly pose, when seated, bend the knees so that the soles of the feet meet (sole to sole) on the floor so that the feet are centered in front of the body. Place a brick beneath each knee, lowering the legs so that they rest on the bricks. Hold onto the joined feet with both hands and sit very tall.
A brick can also be placed under the sacrum for added support when performing a difficult yoga pose such as the Bridge. To avoid injury, its important not to stress the body during yoga poses. Bricks can provide additional stability and support.
Sometimes bricks are used when the body isnt yet flexible enough to perform certain yoga postures. For instance, a posture such as the Windmill requires spreading the feet wide apart and lifting one arm straight toward the ceiling while placing the other hand palm-down against the floor in front of the body. Not everyone can attain this stretch. So a brick is placed on the floor to raise the floor height. Instead of placing the hand palm-down on the floor, the hand is braced against the brick in a modified pose. Since the brick offers three different heights, depending upon how it is placed, one can gradually deepen the pose over time. With practice, the body gains flexibility, and the brick may no longer be necessary.
Extending the reach through yoga bricks also helps those with short arms and legs. The bricks act as limb extenders, which is helpful in maintaining correct posture.
Maintain Correct Position
Especially if you are a beginning yoga student, you may find bricks helpful with correctly holding a yoga position. The bricks can be used under the hands, feet, hips and seat. If you are unsure where to place your hands or feet on the floor, mark the positions with the bricks. The bricks can help with the spacing between hands and feet, too. Use the bricks to achieve perfect form. Soon the correct hand and feet positions will come naturally.
Add resistance to a pose by placing a brick between the arms or legs while stretching. For instance, squeeze the brick between your arms while raising your hands toward the sky during the Mountain pose. The same principle works with placing a brick between the legs during standing postures. Sometimes its a bit of a challenge to hold the brick in place, which offers an added way to increase muscle strength.
Here is a website with many different yoga poses and how to do them. Some of the exercises are broken into beginner, intermediate and advanced poses. For instance, there are: 1) Beginner Warrior Three Pose, 2) Intermediate Warrior Three Pose, 3) Advanced Warrior Three Pose. Many of the yoga postures use a strap or bricks. http://www.sissel-online.com/free_exercises.php
Ive been practicing yoga for about a year and find it relaxes me. My body is healthier, my breathing smoother, and my posture is better. Yoga Essential Bricks are an excellent addition to my yoga props. Im glad the bricks came with the Yoga Essentials Toolkit or else I might not have tried them. The Yoga Essentials Kit, which contains a yoga mat, two blocks, a strap and video, only cost me $5. The yoga bricks, if purchased alone, would cost about $10 each. Now when the instructor demonstrates poses using bricks, Im ready!
I hope you have found this review useful.
Enjoy your day,
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