A block can provide support underneath your seat during seated postures, bring the floor closer to you during standing asanas, let you find deeper relaxation during restorative poses—and much more. Blocks aren’t just for beginners or those working with modifications: Blocks help practitioners of every level achieve greater alignment in shapes and reach deeper levels in their practices than they may have unassisted. A block can even help prevent injuries, since it offers your practice another level of support and stability. A block is an invaluable tool: an implement to assist and deepen even the most advanced practice.
But which type of block is better for your practice: foam or cork? It not only depends on which type of yoga you are practicing, but which pose you’re exploring. Read below for more information on foam versus cork blocks so that you can make the best decision for your best, most supported practice yet.
Cork blocks tend to be better for balancing—whether it’s on your feet or on your hands—because they’re denser and more sturdy. Cork, as a product, is generally an environmentally friendly product and will be durable and long-lasting. Cork blocks are heavier than foam blocks, but still usually only weigh one to two pounds each.
Foam blocks are less expensive, in general, than cork blocks. They are also better for providing gentle support because they’re more yielding and less likely to feel like a big wedge of wood jammed into your body—the body you’re trying to stretch or relax. Foam blocks are undeniably lighter weight—averaging between three to 12 ounces—and because of that, are more likely to slip or move. They are easy to clean, which, combined with being inexpensive, makes them more popular in yoga studios. Foam blocks aren’t as eco-friendly as cork blocks, however, and get dirtier faster. They also aren’t as stable of support as cork blocks.
What kind of support do you generally need? Which kinds of yoga do you like to practice, or find yourself needing support in? What kind of budget do you have (maybe you can buy both kinds, and get the best of both worlds)?
Once you determine the answers to these questions, you can decide on the best block for your practice. Happy yoga-ing!