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December 12, 2017

4 Life-Affirming Lessons I Learned from my Yoga Block.

I’ve always believed that everything in life is interconnected.

What happens in one aspect of my life has implications, reflections, and lessons in another aspect. This became even more apparent when I started practicing yoga—a quick 10-minute flow inspires me with so many realizations and insights into my everyday life.

My trusty yoga block is one of my favourite yoga props and I find it fitting that I get a lot of useful revelations whenever I use it. My yoga block has helped me to learn that beauty and purpose come in the simplest forms.

The humble yoga block is just like a brick really—only a softer version of one. But then again, think of it this way, a million bricks placed together correctly, can build anything from a family house to a huge castle. The simplicity of the form and construction of the yoga block, is the very reason why it is so useful in the first place.

It allows us to be supported in any yoga pose. Imagine the difference when we use a block in Trikonasana (triangle pose), Parivrtta Trikonasana (revolved triangle pose), Kakasana (crow pose), Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (bridge pose), Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward-facing dog pose), and Virasana (hero pose).

No matter how simple the yoga block may look, its beauty and purpose serve us well. Because of this, I have learned not to take anything simple for granted; even the most ordinary things can serve a greater purpose.

Resiliency and flexibility have a limit.

One stunning example of resiliency and flexibility can be found in nature’s creation itself—the bamboo plant. Unlike the strong, unmoving oak and pine trees, the bamboo is built to dance with the wind. This increases its ability to survive disasters.

But all that resiliency and flexibility has a limit, a breaking point, and I’ve experienced this in yoga—overextending my knee during a triangle pose. A little support offered by something as simple and humble as my yoga block, was all I needed to get the pose right. Many times in my life, this is all I need: a simple nudge, a helping hand, or an answered prayer to help me get up and get things done.

Sometimes all we need is a little lift.

One of the poses I love doing with my yoga block is crow pose. My yoga block elevates my body, specifically my feet, and allows for a much more comfortable lift. I can relate this simple exercise to my everyday life. There are times when I would feel so down, unable to get up or lift myself. Just like what my yoga block offered, all I needed was some “elevation” in the form of simple encouragement, a light push, or steady motivation, to help me lift myself higher. Sometimes a lift can be in the form of the reassuring words of a close friend, or family, or wholehearted approval from someone important to us.

Focus on the important things.

This one is something that yoga has taught me deeply. In yoga, establishing and maintaining balance and stability are essential. My yoga block has been crucial at times in helping me maintain my balance and stability. When I would find it difficult to maintain my balance and stability while doing a triangle pose, having my yoga block helps me to focus on my alignment better, allowing me to maintain my balance.

Often, I lose my balance and stability in life too. Sometimes there are too many things going on around me and keeping my life balanced becomes a challenge. Lots of times, I feel like I am a circus juggler keeping several balls up in the air while riding a unicycle. My yoga block has taught me that focusing on the important things will help me keep everything balanced.

When I lose my balance and my focus shifts to the less important things, I sometimes seek a little support from someone I can trust, someone who fully and truly understands me, someone who knows what I am going through. I need that someone to constantly and patiently remind me of what is truly important in life—family, relationships, love, and career over things such as luxuries, wealth, and materialism. We all can benefit from these reminders.

I have gained many more lessons and reflections from my trusty yoga block. Don’t be afraid to reach for your own block, even if you feel like you do not need it. You may gain an insight or two.

~

Relephant: 

Yoga: the ancient wisdom of Californians.

~

Author: Rana Tarakji
Image: Author’s own
Editor: Kenni Linden
Copy Editor: Lieselle Davidson
Social Editor:  Angel Lebailly

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Rana Tarakji