Yoga props have this reputation as being for beginners, something to help you learn basic alignment and improve flexibility. However, they truly are so diverse and a great way to improve your practice.

These poses with two blocks will help you build strength and stretch your muscles.

1. Child’s Pose – Place the blocks at the front of the mat on the lowest level. From kneeling, bring the toes together and knees wide. Sink hips to the heels. Fold down to the mat, bringing hands onto the blocks a bit wider than shoulders. Keep the arms active, elbows lifted. Press shoulders down. Find suitable breath rhythm.

2. Bird Dog – Push into the blocks to lift up to hands and knees. Bringing the hands under the shoulders and knees under the hips. Work through a few rounds of cat/cow to start. Then find neutral table top, engaging the core. Lean more on the right leg and extend the left leg back. Keep the left hip rotating down. Keep core engaged. Stay here or grab the block with right hand. Extend the arm forward, bicep by the ear. Lower and repeat on the other side.

3. Side Body – Start with both hands down on blocks. Extend left leg back with toes down. Roll to the inner edge of left foot. Extend the left arm up. Squeeze and point through toes. Lift left leg up on inhale, exhale to tap toes down. Do about 5 rounds. Repeat on other side.

4. Knee to Nose – Come to downward dog, keeping hands on the blocks. Kick the right leg up. Exhale knee to nose. Inhale back to three legged dog. Repeat a few times.

5. Pyramid Variation – Step right foot through between the blocks, bringing them to the highest level. Flex into the front foot as you straighten the front leg. Back heel will very likely be lifted. Folding down and rounding into spine as needed.

6. Strength Building Pyramid – Step left foot in a few inches so that you can ground the back heel and straighten front leg. Right toes down as well. Bring chest parallel to the floor. Grab block with left hand and extend the arm forward, bicep by the ear.

Repeat 4 through 6 on the other side, starting with blocks on lowest level in downward dog.

7. Pick Up – Come to sit, crossing one ankle over the other. Place the blocks right under the shoulders, on sides of hips. Grab hold of the blocks. Push palms into the blocks. Lift the hips. See if you can also lift the feet up, keeping thighs close to the chest. Release. Then switch the cross and try again.

These 7 poses come from a 15 minute power yoga practice I shared recently.



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