So in my previous post I’ve said that I wanted to show you some blocks and what they’re good for. Basically there are just two types of blocks at the moment, and I’m just going to combine them together in this review. It’s not a contest, one is not better than the other, they’re just different uses that you might find them helpful for.
Foam vs. Cork
So the two types of blocks there are at the moment are cork and foam blocks. As you already might think is that they’re both completely made out of different material. And because of the material that they use they’re going to be very different in usage. This is something I didn’t find on the internet when I was looking for some props myself, so I hope it’s going to be helpful for other people out there that are discovering the wonders of yoga just now, or even just for people who’ve been on the mat for a while already. So here it goes.
When I first started my practice, or better said, when my practice was getting deeper, I asked for a foam block to a friend of mine for my birthday. I went with one from Gaiam, but there are many different brands of course. However, same with mats, I wanted some quality and not quantity, I didn’t want to buy a new block after a while, so I decided to spend just a little more money to buy something from good quality. And the foam blocks aren’t even that expensive to be honest. With that said, I loved having that block, and I think it might still lie around somewhere, I just don’t use it so often anymore. Not because I don’t want to, it’s just that my yoga practice has developed in such a way that I’m using my cork blocks (yes I own two of them) more often.
The good thing about the foam blocks is that it’s soft and light. So it’s easy to take with you and you don’t have to worry that you accidentally hit someone with a massive cork block on the way to your yoga class. Because of the foam you also have the option to buy them in different kinds of colors, which can be nice if that’s what you’re looking for. The usage of them is quite limited I have to say. They’re really nice to use for the meditation part of yoga, so in the beginning or in the end, if your butt cheeks aren’t used to sit on a hard floor yet. It’s much more comfortable to sit on and it also makes that your hips can shift more easily to straighten your spine. So for this purpose I would definitely prefer a foam block over a meditation pillow (which is also heavier and is quite big, so not really something you could take with you). Other purposes to use them is that you can put your arms on it as a support during some yoga poses. The foam will be much softer to use and it won’t hurt your arms as a cork block might do.
Then comes the cork block. Man, how much I love a good solid cork block. Not that I think that the cork blocks are better, I just prefer something sturdier myself. I mentioned it in my previous article that I learned to go into crow pose with help of a cork block. It would elevate my feet so it would be easier to but them right above my elbows and then I would bend forward. After a couple of weeks I managed to go into the pose and a couple of weeks after that I managed doing it even without my block. Because the cork is more massive than the foam it’s easier to keep your balance on when that’s necessary. When you’re doing balancing posing when you’re using a foam block it already doesn’t feel that safe as foam isn’t that stable to lean on. While a cork block is more of an extension of the floor you’re doing your yoga practice on. It’s a little bit pricier, but not even that expensive. It is a bit heavier and they come in different sizes (the foam does as well), I prefer a bigger block myself as I often stand on them for some poses, and then it’s just nice to have something larger to put both your feet on properly instead of tip toeing on it. Because of their weight it’s unfortunately not always easy to carry them with you, I used to carry two of them with me to the yoga studio where I was teaching and that together with an over sized yoga mat, man, that was a challenge on it’s own already.
So shortly said, if you want to have something nice to sit on during the meditation parts in yoga, go for the foam block! Your butt will be grateful. If you’re looking for more balance, go with the cork block. And if you want both, then just go for both of them :)!
I hope this article was helpful for you, as always, if you need more advice or if you have more questions about your personal practice or just in general, feel free to leave a comment below!
Nama-stay wonderful everyone!