Props Make Yoga Better!

When I was new to Yoga … I showed up with my Yogi Toes Towel … my Manduka mat and a trusty water bottle ready to take on Hot Yoga as a challenge and a new addition to my already way overfilled work out schedule! I was teaching 25 classes a week … and seriously ripped but not in a “pretty feminine way” … more of a “ I’m gonna kick some ass” kind of way. I can tell you  … I had aches and pains … stressed out joints and hip pain that prevented me from even watching a movie in a theater. It hurt to sit in one place for more than 30 minutes.

While complaining about my aches and pains … I was dared by a dear friend who was aware of my competitive spirit … and challenged me to take a Hot Yoga class … to see if I could handle it. Of course … I said I could … but once in there … 104 degrees and all that humidity … nope … didn’t handle it well at all.

It was humbling in a good way. I saw my ego … front and center and realized … I was not only hurting myself … but I was actually playing to crickets … as in “no one cares what you do in yoga” ….get over your badass self!

While it took 10 minutes for me to dial back the urge to muscle through a pose… it took about 2 years to become very close friends with Yoga Blocks … and now I absolutely love them. And Hot Yoga has become a staple in my wellness routine.

I … as many do … had the false assumption that Yoga blocks were for people who were “yoga newbies”. They were only for inflexible people … you know … the people who couldn’t touch their toes. I , however, could touch my toes …. So … no thank you wise yoga teacher … I don’t need your silly blocks … save them for you new students.

As with many things in life … it took a setback to find the SPRING FORWARD! Ego will do that to you every time!

And I am so thankful for that set back! I pulled my piriformis and started to feel pretty serious pain. At the same time … I was feeling really fatigued …. But not normal tiredness … but real heaviness and was told it could be a number of scary illnesses that would need to be managed with drugs and medicines. I don’t like either and while I like to choose my toxins with awareness (usually in the form of an icey cold Michelob Ultra) …. Taking thyroid medication or hormone therapy was not something I was willing to do at 48.

As a fitness instructor … taking time off to heal was not an option. I had to work and I love what I do …  so taking a few weeks off sounded like being locked up in solitary confinement. Not gonna happen.

I started to research how to heal that pesky bum muscle and found many articles on yoga blocks. I tried it … and will never go back again. Yoga blocks are my new best friends. In fact … they have saved my ass … literally and figuratively … and have changed the way I approach a pose.

I am more aware of a pose … more aware of how aligned (or not aligned most often ) I am …. They have brought an ease to my regular practice that I have not experienced before. They have created a new curiosity and a new found passion for helping others who look like they are straining in what is supposed to be a practice of ease and flow.

 

Hello … my name is Lauren …. And I am a recovering ego driven yogi.

 

This work with yoga blocks as support structures to help me feel better and move better has parlayed into learning even more about nutritional building blocks that support the inside of my body as well. While I was researching blocks … I learned even more about how each pose supports the body internally … and that, of course,  lead me to a deep investigation of what I was putting in my body. While I learned about poses that support digestion … poses that support sleep … hormone regulation …inflammation and even allergies … I also started an elimination diet which uncovered a massive allergy to corn tortillas …..sigh! I love them but since going without them for 2 months … I feel way better.

And of course … I had to test my theory … I had to have the chips and guac at one of my favorite local spots … I mean … they were just sitting there …begging to be enjoyed. And yes … complete disaster! Instantly, I had that  teary eyes- runny nose- coughing to the point of choking- but I’m okay – reaction. I couldn’t believe it! So I tried another wonderful corn tortilla morsel of goodness. Yup …. It happened again! So … no more corn for me but with it came a new adventure of finding the poses and foods that make me feel great and the ones that really don’t.

I now think of yoga blocks as the new friends who have helped me find a deeper practice … not just in how I approach a pose … but also as a way to remind me that we support ourselves in many ways. While chips and guac are so incredibly yummy … they simply don’t support my body. It’s been extremely fun to explore new ways to use blocks to support my practice ….and equally fun to explore new foods that support my body.

I am so grateful to my yoga blocks and so grateful for the wisdom of my dear friend Amy. She is a Certified Nutritional Therapist and CEO of Eat Your Health. . She inspired my my nutritional treasure hunt …. She can inspire yours too!

Want to learn more about blocks and nutrition? Join us on May 19th – you will never practice Yoga the same way again. If you are a beginner … even better … you can learn the right way without all the mistakes I made!

Sign up here! See you on your mat! Not in the area? No Problem … contact me below and set up a FREE consultation to work with CHIZEL and start feeling great FAST! 

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