3 Ways to Use Yoga Blocks to Stretch Your Muscles
Did you know that stretching daily can contribute to your physical and mental health? One of our favourite ways, here at aim’n, to take time to rest and recharge is by stretching and doing yoga. We find that it’s the perfect activity to focus on the present moment and really recharge our mind, body and soul. If you have an hour or even if you just have five minutes, stretching is the perfect activity to ground in and focus on our body and breath taking our mind’s off of the day's busy tasks.
Certified yoga coach and aim’n family member Nickee loves to use the aim’n yoga mat and block for individual poses. Nickee’s top three poses with the yoga block are the cross-legged sitting asana, the crow pose and the half moon pose. These range from a beginners level to an advanced level so they will be perfect for you if you’re new to yoga, or if you are looking to take things to the next level.
Cross-legged Sitting Asana (Sukhasana)
This pose is perfect if you are new to yoga and stretching. The main purpose of sukhasana is to drop into a meditative state. In this pose, it is beneficial to sit on a yoga block to tilt your pelvis and relieve the pressure on your lower back. This pose helps to calm the mind and enhances your condition of peacefulness.
Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)
This pose is a standing asana. It’s great for strengthening and stretching your muscles. The half moon pose strengthens your thighs, abdominals, ankles and glutes. It also opens up and stretches the chest, shoulders and lengthens the spine and torso through twisting. Using a yoga block is great for support and balance. Ensure your grounded foot is faced towards the top of your mat with your ankle, knee, hip and shoulders stacked. With your elevated foot, ensure it’s flexed and active. Your chest and torso twist open, rotating your hips out.
Crow Pose (Bakasana)
This pose is more advanced and is a balancing exercise. Use the block to stand and squat down onto, while placing your knees on your triceps. Tilt your hips up towards the ceiling and make sure to engage your core. Push into the ground with your hands and ensure you are using all of your fingers to enhance your balance. This pose is great for improving balance as well as overall body strength.
Now you have some tips on how to stretch, we challenge you to set aside some time this week to really nurture your body. It could just be a simple five minutes, or you could turn it into a really special practice. We love to dim the lights, light some scented candles or burn some essential oils and play some calming music before getting into it. Remember, stretching is amazing for your body, but it also will benefit your mind as well. Fill up your own cup, take some time out for rest and recovery and have the most amazing day. You are worthy.