Yogitoes produces an unusual looking yoga block called the ECODOT. I’ll be honest; when I first got this, I was very skeptical about it. It’s round, and looks kind of like a large piece of movie theater candy that you might have eaten when you were a little kid.
Much to my surprise, I actually enjoyed practicing with this round block, and I realized very quickly that there are quite a few advantages to using a round block instead of a standard block.
First, the ECODOT is very comfortable to sit on, much better for sitting meditation or for simply elevating your hips in a pose like Virasana (Hero Pose) if you can’t sit all the way down on the floor. With a fairly substantial surface area, the ECODOT is a block you can actually sit on without feeling like you’re going to fall off the side.
The ECODOT is also great for poses like Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle), Parsvakonasana (Extended-Side Angle), and Ardha Chandrasana (Half-Moon). Since the ECODOT is round, you can comfortably spread your entire hand out on the block, which you can’t do with most other blocks because they don’t have enough surface area. This makes for more stable support, and a feeling of groundedness which I enjoyed.
Another great use for the ECODOT is assisted backbends. For instance, you can add a nice little back opener to reclining poses like Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose) by placing the ECODOT on its side, setting it under your middle/upper back along the spine, and then gently leaning back over the rounded edge. Because of the curve on the ECODOT, you get a very comfortable but still deep backbend. In comparison, standard wooden blocks, with their hard edges, often cause great discomfort if you try to do a backbend over them. And standard foam blocks tend not to be hard enough to retain their shape/edge when you lie back on them, which makes the block warp and sometimes fall over.
Finally, in class today, I accidentally discovered another great and fun feature of the ECODOT — you can roll it across the room! Kind of a silly bonus, but I’ve already had some good laughs trying to send the block across the floor to my students.
Given the consistently high level of ingenuity in Yogitoes’ product designs, it’s clear to me that someone at Yogitoes actually practices yoga. This is not always the case, if you take a look at some of the junk yoga products coming out on the market lately. It should come as no surprise, though, that the people who brought us the indispensible SKIDLESS came up with a way to improve the humble yoga block.