photography by Veronica Billedo
Once upon a time, Manduka Sales Reps would visit wholesale accounts with gigantic suitcases of samples and sneak-peaks. Regarding the Mini Block, James Applebee (Manduka’s Product VP) says, “This was a fun product accident. We requested from our supplier a smaller block for sample production in order to support our Sales Team—the original full-sized block took up so much space, it was not always possible for Reps to carry them all in one bag.” Delighted with the smaller sample blocks (and subsequent precious inches of suitcase), Sales Reps set out to sell the blocks’ full-sized counterpart.
Mini Block Use #1: Light-weight and easy to maneuver during your practice, these small-but-mighty Mini Blocks provide excellent support in grounded postures like Half Pigeon, Half Splits, or Runner's Lunge.
And yet everywhere the Mini Block went, requests for their availability were soon to follow. In the Midwest, a studio owner exclaimed, “Oh, are these new? I’ll order forty of each color!” only to discover that the pint-sized product was not available for purchase. In Asia, one account was so smitten that their Rep gave away her personal samples; these quietly gifted Mini Blocks made their debut on Instagram to a captivated audience. Buyers in every corner of the world made the same Mini Block joke, saying, “You won’t notice if I just stick these in my bag and take them home with me, will you?” Even Manduka’s own Product Team was not immune to the Mini Block’s many charms. James continues, “After seeding these blocks out to yoga practitioners, and seeing internal staff playing with them, we realized the Mini Block is a yoga creative’s dream prop.” In January, the Mini Block officially debuted as the darling of Manduka's Spring Summer 2021 Collection.
Mini Block Use #2: These palm-sized blocks extend your Downward Facing Dog or Tabletop Pose, creating more space for a smooth transition to low-lunge. The Mini Blocks can also alleviate wrist compression and create additional space across the shoulder girdle. For a new experience in Plank Pose or Side Plank Pose, keep the blocks underneath your hands as you flow.
So what's different about the Mini Block, and how can you incorporate it into your practice? This product was created with portability in mind; you can easily toss two into your bag and head to a favorite studio class. If space is of the essence in your small home or apartment, you'll barely notice these blocks until it's time to unroll your mat. If your kids are yoga-curious, they're bound to enjoy these props that are just their size.
Mini Block Use #3: Easy to grip because of their perfect size, Mini Blocks are an arm-balancer's dream. Try the Mini Blocks under your hands in postures like Crow Pose or Firefly pose--you might be surprised that the extra height makes these postures more accessible. Looking to heat up your handstands? Mini Blocks are portable, adorable handstand canes.
As one of the above-mentioned Sales Reps, the Mini Block became the star of my home practice long before it went to production. Please enjoy some of my favorite uses of the Mini Block included throughout this article, but know the true excitement of this product is seeing how yoga students and teachers globally explore its use. We can't wait to see what you come up with.
Content and Modeling: Halle Miroglotta, @halleyoga
Photography Credit: Veronica Billedo, @bigbowlofmysterysoup