Unwinding with the UnBlok
By Kat Villain
Literally this was the reaction of our amazing copywriter, Kevin, after taking Kat Villain’s class at Love Yoga. To say that Kat knows her stuff would be the understatement of the year; the Katonah devotee, nidra teacher and artist even came out with a book recently. Peep it here.
So when we wanted to show some love to one of our favorite unsung prop heroes, the UnBlok, we could think of no one better than Kat to show us how she puts it into action. So grab a block, find your issue, get Kat’s solution and practice on, friends.
The Issue: Life’s got you hunched over all day long
The Solution: Supported Bound Angle Backbend
• Placing the UnBlok under your shoulder blades supports this backbend to create fluidity in yourspine as you breathe fully into your lungs
• Both automatic and conscious, breath is the gateway to our autonomic nervous system which regulates our internal environment
Pro Tip: Make sure the block is high enough up your back so it sits between your shoulder blades.
The Issue: Technology is to blame for rigidity in your hands/wrists (cue early arthritis and carpel tunnel syndrome)
The Solution: Flipped Wrist Stretch
· Use the UnBlok to stretch your wrist and palm to counteract imbalances in the joint
· When rotating the wrist, make sure to turn each hand away from each other (not towards)
· Press more weight on the index finger knuckle side of the hand
Pro Tip: Check that your wrist flips 180 degrees so the wrist crease is parallel with the long side of the block
The Issue: Your dominant side is taking over all your poses
The Solution: Bound Angle Fold
• The curve and support of the UnBlok creates a stable foundation for an aligned sacrum as you fold forward
• Fold forward from your hips and maintain a backbend in your upper body. You always want a piece of you looking out and observing as you move forward.
Pro Tip: Sitting on a bolster will allow you to fall into your habitual sitting position, which maintains your personal pelvic imbalance.
The Issue: Sitting too much is creating a reverse curvature in your lumbar spine, straining your lower back
The Solution: Supported Bridge
· Placing the UnBlok under the pelvis releases your hip flexors, which relaxes the diaphragm and allows the breath to travel down into the belly, increasing the fluidity in the lower body
Pro Tip: Make sure your heels are below your knees and the back rim of your pelvis sits on the UnBlok so your muscles soften as the natural wave of the lower back is supported
The Issue: Gravity’s pulling you down and making you heavy
The Solution: Legs Up The Wall
· This posture is great to reverse the flow of gravity while also taking the pressure off the hip flexors so a natural abdominal breath pattern can emerge
· As the breath flows deep into the abdomen, the mind calms
Pro Tip: If you can’t relax your legs, move away from the wall slightly so the knees can bend.