Removing Blocks by Making Blocks

One of my occasional pursuits since making the move to full-time rural living up here in northern Grey County has been making yoga blocks. I craft them from local White Cedar which I order from the Amish sawmill just a few minutes down the road. Blocks are a common type of yoga “prop” used for support or assistance manoeuvring into, or holding, postures. Though cedar is a harder surface than cork or foam yoga blocks, it is a light enough and soft enough wood that they are still comfortable to use, easy to hold on to, and with minimal slip. Unlike other types of blocks, there is a sensory experience with the light scent of White Cedar, the sight of intricate wood grain, and the feel of real wood.

Continue reading “Removing Blocks by Making Blocks”

Yoga Beyond the Mat: The Niyamas

yoga-mat-roll-upIn the last blog I mentioned how, closer to its origins, yoga is more a “philosophy” than the “activity” it has generally become in the Western world. Also in contrast to its Eastern origins, we may be more likely to see our yoga practice as a segmented, part of our day yet somehow separate from it, rather than an inclusive element of our lifestyle.

It is not an uncommon occurrence to see someone who lives a loaded, attention-deficit life, rushing in to their yoga class, Continue reading “Yoga Beyond the Mat: The Niyamas”

Yoga Beyond the Mat: The Yamas

yoga-mat-roll-upThe yoga we practice in the Western world is, overall, primarily focused on postures. However, before its introduction to the West, yoga was something much broader—more a philosophy than an activity.

Patanjali was an Indian sage responsible for compiling the Yoga Sutras sometime prior to 400 CE. Within the Sutras, Patanjali detailed the Eight Limbs of Yoga. The first four limbs, one of which is asana (yoga postures), are more concrete and tangible actions, while the Continue reading “Yoga Beyond the Mat: The Yamas”