Do yourself a favor and ignore the yoga snobs – using a cork yoga block should never be a source of shame.
Instead, yoga blocks should always be viewed as a tool for learning. They help to teach your body the proper alignment for specific poses and also prevent injury (and alleviate strain).
Here are our four favorite yoga blocks for people who need a little extra support during their yoga routines!
Manduka Cork Yoga Block
The Manduka Cork Yoga Block falls squarely into the average size range for cork yoga blocks, measuring 9 x 6 x 4 inches.
Primarily due to its fine-grain cork construction, the Manduka Cork Yoga Block weighs less than a lot of the competition. This means that it is still fairly durable and sturdy, while also being the perfect choice for people that want to have their very own block to carry to their favorite yoga studio.
It is also worth noting that Manduka offers a “Lean Block” for people with smaller hands. True to its name, the Manduka Lean Block measures 8.6 x 4.3 x 2.7 inches.
It is made of sustainable, fine-grain cork.
Its fine-grain cork construction makes it relatively lighter than a lot of the competition.
It has a high-quality, textured surface that is easy to grip.
It has contoured edges for added comfort.
It is extremely durable and built to last.
It may not be suitable for fans of heavier yoga blocks, since it is lighter than similarly sized coarse-grain cork yoga blocks.
Gaiam Cork Yoga Block
The Gaiam Cork Yoga Block is another average-sized yoga block, once again measuring 9 x 6 x 4 inches. However, in addition to this, customers can also purchase the relatively smaller (and cheaper) Gaiam Cork Yoga Brick that measures 9 x 5.5 x 3 inches.
The Gaiam Cork Yoga Block is one of the best options on the market in terms of durability. This makes it great for people who want to buy a yoga block and not have to worry about replacing it for months or even years to come.
It is crafted from natural cork.
It has contoured edges that make it more comfortable to use.
It is durable and built to last.
It makes more difficult poses easier to achieve due to extended reach.
It provides a decent amount of grip but it could be better.
Hugger Mugger Cork Yoga Block
Compared to the competition, the Hugger Mugger Cork Yoga Block is still fairly average in terms of size. That being said, it is slightly smaller than the rest of the yoga blocks on this list, measuring only 9 x 5.5 x 3.5 inches.
This size difference is actually very noticeable and can potentially act as a double-edged sword. On one hand, it makes it easier to maneuver during yoga routines and also easier to transport. However, on the other hand, it might not be ideal for beginners who need more help (i.e. height and support) with their poses.
It is designed to be perfect for supported backbends and select standing/sitting poses.
It features contoured edges for safety and comfort.
It has a non-slip surface that is easy to grip.
It is made from sustainably sourced high-quality cork.
Its fine-grain cork construction means that it is lighter than the average cork block.
Its slightly smaller size might mean that it is not suitable for beginners who need more help with their poses.
Jade Yoga Cork Block
The Jade Yoga Cork Block is an average-sized yoga block that measures 9 x 6 x 4 inches.
The company boasts that its cork is sustainably harvested from trees in Portugal. Furthermore, all of their cork yoga blocks are wholly produced in the US – from start to finish.
It is made from sustainably harvested cork that is also water-resistant.
It is fairly durable and can survive for years if properly cared for.
Its texture and water-resistant features make it easy to grip at all times.
It has contoured edges for added comfort.
It is not uncommon to find it out of stock (particularly on Amazon)
Cork Yoga Block Buying Guide – Factors To Consider
As you would expect, standard-sized yoga blocks are built with average hand sizes in mind. So, if you’ve got smaller (or larger) than average hands, you should definitely pay close attention to the dimensions of a cork yoga block before you buy it.
When it comes to yoga blocks, quality is one of the easiest factors to understand but also one of the hardest to evaluate without hands-on experience. That being said, you will generally find that quality and price go hand in hand for most yoga blocks – with the only outliers being some niche “luxury” brands.
Cork yoga blocks are generally great for providing support and facilitating proper balance. If you think that you have issues with your balance or that you may need extra support, you are better off buying a wider block.
Having one cork yoga block should usually suffice for the common yoga postures that you’ll be doing as a part of your routine. However, if you’re just getting started with some advanced postures you may find that one yoga block isn’t enough. Yoga blocks are generally sold individually, so keep that in mind if you think that you may need more than one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Even if you know very little about yoga, it is easy enough to assume that a cork yoga block is used to make yoga routines easier to perform. However, that being said, what exactly is the actual technical purpose that a cork yoga block serves?
The answer is “support”. This is a relatively broad answer; to be more specific, cork yoga blocks are capable of:
- Providing extra lift
- Improving your body’s alignment
- Alleviating strain
- Adding resistance
- Reducing the risk of injury
Ultimately, the answer to this question will differ from person to person because it will be based on personal preference. That being said, in the yoga community, cork yoga blocks are rarely viewed as being too soft. In fact, in some cases, you might find that some yoga practitioners actually consider cork yoga blocks to be too hard.
As a result of this, some people will choose to make use of alternative yoga blocks or simply forgo using one altogether. This is largely due to people being unaccustomed to using cork yoga blocks (or just yoga blocks in general). Keep in mind that the more you practice with a cork yoga block, the more you get used to it being a part of your routine.
As we stated above, some people find yoga cork blocks to be too hard/firm (or too heavy). More often than not, this is a concern that is raised by beginners who want an added level of support but also have a lower tolerance when it comes to their comfort level. What do we mean by this?
Well, the primary differences between foam yoga blocks and cork yoga blocks are their weight. Cork yoga blocks are firmer and heavier, while foam yoga blocks are softer and more lightweight. As a result of this, a foam yoga block will generally provide less resistance and an overall lower level of support when you use it for your yoga poses. Does this mean that cork yoga blocks are better? If we’re talking solely about the ability to provide support, the answer is a resounding yes. However, truth be told, your personal preference will vary depending on how much you value factors like weight, softness, and comfort.