Review: Manduka unBLOK

I have a juicy product review for you guys today. I tend to be choosy about which products I will accept for review on the blog, because I want to keep it honest. I do review most yoga products, so when Manduka contacted me about reviewing their new yoga block, I was psyched.

unBLOK_BreezeThunder_In Packaging_Angled (2pcs)

Here are the details about the unBLOK:

  • Made of over 50% recycled material (foam)
  • Rounded shape
  • Slip-resistant

I was skeptical about the shape when I first saw the unBLOK because I’m so used to the normal, rectangular block shape that most other yoga blocks have. But I actually think I preferred using the unBLOK. I tried some supported chest and shoulder openers (supported fish, supported bridge), and this block was great. It’s much nicer to have a slightly rounded curve supporting your back than a straight block.


Supported Fish Pose – put a block under your upper back and let your arms fall open. You can also put a rolled up blanket underneath your knees for extra low-back support. (Image source.)

I also tried out some standard poses that might require a block – Virasana (hero’s pose) and Artichandrasana (half moon pose) and the unBLOK worked very well. It really is slip resistant, and it’s sturdy like a cork block is, but still light, because it’s foam. It’s more grippy than most foam blocks I’ve used, which is good for poses like half moon.

The unBLOK Party:

You can nominate a local studio that helped you “unblock” your practice for a chance to win prizes. You can nominate your studio {HERE}. Be sure to do it today, if you want to enter, because the campaign ends today, May 28th.

I just nominated my studio, Pure. And I got a 15% off discount code at the end after I submitted.

Do you use a block for your yoga practice? What is your favorite local studio?

I don’t use a block that often, but I love using blocks for supported, restorative postures. I have a lot of favorite studios in NYC. The two that I have been to the most are Pure and Yoga Vida (where I did my training).

Happy New Year & 2012 Recap


Did you stay up? I actually fell asleep watching 30 Rock around 11:30 but luckily I have the best husband ever and he woke me up in time to share the strike of midnight and a new year’s kiss 🙂 I’m trying to cut back on coffee thus I was very tired yesterday night.

2012 was a big year for our house – here’s a recap.

  1. taught my first (and probably last) yoga class at my old job – turns out I like taking yoga much more than teaching yoga, at least for now. People seemed to like my classes but teaching is just not for me! (January)
  2. I went back to my old job (I had left it for ~5 months, but missed it almost as soon as I’d gone). (March)
  3. My hubby and I bought an apartment in NYC. And then we renovated it (still renovating it…). (Closed in May; began renovations in November)
  4. I joined a CSA and discovered a farmers’ market on the corner of my street. (June)
  5. I joined Pure Yoga back at the end of June (and Bobby just joined in late November so now we can go to yoga together). (June)
  6. I fixed my PCOS. (Basically by eating more carbs, and more in general, more food more regularly.) I also ate a lot of PCOS bread. (July)
  7. Bobby and I went on a yoga retreat with Raghunath (August), and I tried Mysore Ashtanga yoga (July).
  8. Bobby and I went to Japan for 2 weeks for fun (and so I could finally – after 7 years of being together – meet his family!). (October)
  9. I went to India for 9 days for work. (December)
  10. NYC got hit by Hurricane Sandy – our home was unaffected, but my work lost power for a week and many of my friends and family members, including my parents, were also without power. Sandy Workout & Sandy Link Love.

What were the important things in your life for 2012?

My Mysore Ashtanga Sequence

I started a morning Mysore Ashtanga yoga practice this week at Pure Yoga East. My practice so far consists of:

Surya Namaskar

  • 5 Sun A
  • 5 Sun B

Standing Poses (all 5B unless otherwise noted, and on the R & L sides if applicable)

  • Padangusthasana (hands to big toes)
  • Padahastasana (hands under feet)
  • Utthita Trikonasana (triangle)
  • Parivritta Trikonasana (revolved triangle)
  • Utthita Parsvakonasana (side angle A)
  • Parivritta Parsvakonasana (revolved side angle)
  • Prasarita Padottanasana A (hands on ground)
  • Prasarita Padottanasana B (hands on hips, elbows towards each other)
  • Prasarita Padottanasana C (hands clasped)
  • Prasarita Padottanasana D (grab big toes)
  • Parsvottanasana (pyramid)
  • Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana A (hand grabs big toe)
  • Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana B (out to the side)
  • Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana C (bend over leg in front, grabbing toe – only 1B)
  • Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana D (hands to waist, toe pointed)
  • Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (tree with lotus foot, grab toe behind the back, fold fwd)
  • Utkatasana (chair)
  • Virabhadrasana A (warrior 1)
  • Virabhadrasana B (warrior 2)

Primary Series

  • Nothing yet

Finishing Series

  • Urdha Dhanurasana (wheel – 3x, 5B)
  • Paschimottanasana (8B)
  • Sarvangasana (shoulder stand – 10B)
  • Halasana (plow – 5B)
  • Matsyasana (fish – 5B)
  • Sirsasana A (headstand 10B)
  • Padmasana (thumb and forefinger together on knees, chin down, lotus, 10B)
  • Tolasana (lotus, hands to mat, lift up, 10B)
  • Savasana

It’s a lot to remember. And it is hard! Ashtanga yogis are hardcore.