Zen Body Yoga + Wellness

Spreading the Zen to Tulsa!


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Using a Yoga Block

Written By: Margaret Wish

Yoga BlocksDo you use a yoga block in your practice? Personally, I always grab a block for every practice because you never know if and when you may need one. Some days my body will be fully open, other days I may be tight and need a little support.

When I first started my yoga practice, I didn’t realize the importance of using this prop. I thought that since I had a dancer background that yoga would be no problem for me, and that I would be able to do everything with ease. That was my ego talking. Once I became more serious about my practice, I realized that having a block is not a sign of weakness, but rather acknowledging that it is okay to need help and support.

Lately, I have learned several different ways that you can use your yoga block, and I thought it would be fun to share that with you! Here are 2 of my favorite ways that you can use your yoga block to improve your yoga practice:

1) Feeling Grounded
If you have used a yoga block during your practice, you probably already understand this tip! The yoga block has three ‘settings’: high, medium, and low. These ‘settings’ simply mean the way in which you are holding the block.

As you start your practice, you may need to use the high setting in your extended side angle or triangle pose until you are able to slowly move your hand to the floor. The block brings the ground to you, and can bring ease into a posture that would otherwise be uncomfortable.

2) Improving Technique
Alignment is key in your yoga practice, and your block can help you better understand how to properly hold your arms and legs.

Here is a great way to learn and practice engaging your shoulders in downward facing dog:

Holding the block long ways in your hand, press your hands into the side of the block while trying to make your pinkies touch. You should feel an internal rotation in your arms, similar to being in downward facing dog. Next, try holding downward facing dog and applying this technique to the posture. Do you feel the difference?

Next time you step onto your mat, don’t be afraid to grab your yoga block and use it to further your practice.


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Mountain Bubbles & Tummy Time

Written By: Laura Brownphoto

Pause and breathe.

I have to tell myself this all the time with my 3 young kids. I am trying to teach my children that people do not make good choices when they are stressed and not self-regulating.

How often do you make it through the day in a calm state?

Let’s keep it real…

Not often.

Being able to self-regulate throughout the day is quite tough, especially for children. As parents, we have to be good role models, and give them tools to better self-regulate.  One great tool is to teach children to take deep breaths.

Bubble Mountain is a super fun way to do this. Making bubbles grow and grow by taking deep breaths in and then blowing out is so much fun for kids. Deep breaths are also a great way to help with self-regulating. Taking deep breaths before sitting for long periods of time, before doing homework, or to improve your mood can be very beneficial.

Another great way to help with self-regulation is as easy as laying on your stomach, in prone position on your elbows. In this position, you engage the shoulder and back muscles, which then activates the brain stem, which can help you to self-regulate. This is one of the reasons that tummy time is so important in infancy. Babies need to be on their tummies often in order to properly develop. This is also why crawling is so important to do before walking.

Instead of sitting for coloring, writing, playing games, and reading, do it on your tummy to help improve your day.

This week, try spending more time on your front side instead of your backside.