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In Iyengar Yoga we use many props to help our bodies ease into postures that our bodies are not quite ready for. Chairs, bolsters, belts and blocks have many uses. The blocks give support, balance and extra length when needed; as in such poses as Uttanasana (standing forward bend) or Parivrtta Trikonasana (twisting triangle).

As with any DIY project, make sure you are set up properly before you begin the beguine.  I have a good work table outside because when the redwood flies, it flies everywhere…but it smells great. I suggest thoroughly hosing off your plants afterwards too.

You will need:

Table Saw or Miter Saw

Measuring Tape

Pencil

Sander

Eye Protection

Mask

Good Wax for good wood!

I bought an 8 foot piece of 4 x 6 redwood at a local lumber yard. Redwood is much heavier than most of the yoga blocks you will find in your neighborhood yoga studio. The blocks at my studio are either foam or bamboo. Bamboo is much lighter but isn’t as aesthetically pleasing (in my opinion) nor does it feel as solid in regards to support. Personally I’m stuck on redwood these days.

At your lumber yard they will probably mill the blocks into 9 inch sections for you if you ask. It might cost more but then you don’t need the saw and can just get straight to the sanding part.

My first round of making blocks was fun. I sanded them, wiped them down, stained and then varnished them. They came out quiet beautiful; looking like an art piece or cool book end. One student said they reminded him of See’s Candy lollypops…which could be a good thing. They did make my mouth water.

My second round was like taking a tab of some elation drug. The sanding of the wood is so satisfying and reveals more beauty that had been hidden. This time I waxed the blocks (why stain such pretty wood?) and excuse me for saying this but it was orgasmic.  I guess it is a wood working thing, or maybe an art thing. I feel that way after a good painting too.

different sizes for different uses

The waxing really brought out the woods natural beauty and made them supple to touch but with the ability to still get a good grip.  I also made one 12 inch block especially for one of my teachers because he is quite tall; and I never thought about how those shorter blocks make Pincha Mayurasana more difficult for those with wide shoulders. Perhaps you can even make a 2 x 6 for those that still need the support of a block in Uttanasa but not the full size of an ordinary block.

Wine optional but not to be drunk until saw is put away!

Anyway they are very fun to make and to give as presents to other yogi nerds you might know. That or perhaps sell them somewhere…they are certainly a lot nicer looking than what I’ve seen around…I’m just sayin.

Functional art!

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