The first time a yoga teacher asked me if I needed blocks to practice, I was deeply insulted. Did she think I was a beginner or something?
Oh, silly me. Over time, I’ve come to realize that practicing with a block is not only amazing, but can also be a pretty advanced move. It is also one of the easiest ways to show yourself some sweet self-love.
The block is not a crutch, and it definitely does not represent weakness or inability to do the pose properly. It is just a tool to help you come into an expression of the pose you might not be able to achieve on your own, and more importantly, actually enjoy it. I promise, using it doesn’t make you better or worse at yoga, or at life for that matter.
Unfortunately, most of us are wired to push ourselves past our limits and to instinctively refuse help. Instead of finding ease in a pose, we strive to go deeper, sit lower, feel the burn, make it count…more pain, more gain, right?
Nope. I call bs.
If using a block in revolved triangle or half moon helps you get a better twist or sense of stability, there is nothing weak about doing so.
On the contrary, there is so much power and wisdom in doing what is right for your own body instead of what others are doing or what you think you should be doing.
That’s when we truly practice yoga, not when we achieve the pretzeliest of poses on our own.
This tendency to say “no thanks” to any kind of support often shows up off the mat as well. My first reaction is always to say no when someone asks if I need help – whether it’s with carrying groceries to my car or getting into a headstand – and I always regret it as I cross the parking lot loaded up like a mule or fall on my ass in the middle of class. It’s taken lots of practice but these days I pause before I answer and more often than not, I take people up on their offers.
Our lives, as well as our yoga practice, should reflect a balance of effort and ease. Yes, we have to be willing to put in the work, but the results can be so much sweeter if we also allow ourselves to lean on and find strength in something else – whether it’s a block or the community around us.
Some say that the way you do anything is the way you do everything. I invite you to start bringing support and ease into your yoga practice so you can start doing the same in your life.