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If you've decided to take up yoga, it's easy to feel overwhelmed as you try to learn about the clothing and props you'll need for a class. But you don't need to be clad in expensive, trendy yoga clothing, nor do you necessarily need props such as foam blocks. Many yoga practitioners use blocks to assist them during poses, but you can use a number of other objects instead.
Not all yoga poses require the use of a block, but this prop often comes in handy several times throughout a class. A block can help hold your buttocks off the ground for poses such as Bridge pose and stabilize one of your limbs in poses such as Triangle pose. Blocks are especially helpful for beginners, many of whom might not be flexible enough to hold a pose without the help of a block.
Many yoga studios have an assortment of blocks for people to use, but when all the blocks are in use, teachers will often recommend using a pillow in place of the block. When selecting a pillow to use, opt for a thick, sturdy one; a thin, flimsy pillow will not be dense enough to support your body or one of your limbs.
If you don't want to spend the money on a yoga block, or are attending a class in which all the blocks are taken, look for a blanket. Lay the blanket out on the floor, fold it, if necessary, and roll it tightly. A rolled blanket is often dense enough to work as a suitable yoga block alternative.
Given that no rules about what makes an acceptable yoga block exist, you're free to use any object as a block substitute. Dense items make the best block substitutes, so look around your home to find something that works. A phone book can work in a pinch, while a thick piece of a wood such as a four-by-four is also suitable.