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On blocks and bolsters


I have a block around blocks. They make me uncomfortable because it feels like I’m using them to try to trick my body into doing something it doesn’t want to do. For example, Sticking a block under my sacrum during setu bandha makes my back bend more than it naturally would, and when it’s there I just I relax my weight down onto it. Doing the pose without the block gives me much less of a bend but I can feel the affect of adjustments in my legs as I push away from the floor or my shoulders as I try to lift more into my upper back. I feel that I’m getting more in touch with my back by strengthening it. The only time I really do want to use a block is to compensate for a weakness or injury - like placing it under my hip during swan/pigeon to keep the weight off my sore knee. Although even then it’s hard to get them at the right height or I find uncomfortable awkward angles poking into me. Funnily enough I don’t feel the same way about bolsters. The mere though of draping my body over a bolster makes me feel happy no matter how awkward or challenging the posture is going to be. But then there are straps/belts. Don’t even get me started on the pulling and tensing, cramping hands and feet, aching shoulders that comes with usually with using straps wrapped round the ball of your foot and being used to carry the weight of your leg. I know some types of yoga use blocks and some don’t. In the end it’s up to each teacher to decided when and how to use them in their class. How to use them, but not how they feel about using them. So, is it just me that has a blockage about blocks? How do you feel about props?

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The Studio Room, Carshalton

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