Why I’ll Never Teach Tree Pose Eyes Closed On A Block

Back in high school one day at football practice, I was running a sprint when I stepped in a hole, the full weight of my body pushing down on that one foot.  My left foot twisted to the outside, and it felt like my shin bone popped out of the ankle socket and kept going down into the hole.  Then the whole mess popped back into place.  It felt gross, and yeah, it hurt.  I was hobbled for weeks with a bad sprain (fortunately that was all), and I’ve had a fear of running on grass ever since.  I still get the oogies thinking about how it popped out and back in.

What’s that have to do with tree pose eyes closed on a block?  This tree pose eyes closed on a block thing comes up in a class every few months.  And all I can think is, what if someone’s balance is off to one side of the block, and they tip the block on its side?  Flashbacks to my ankle popping in and out of the socket that summer day at football practice.  Tree pose ankle joint popping out and back in again.  What’s the Sanskrit for that?

I’m not sure what the point of doing tree pose eyes closed on a block is.  If the yogi has good balance in tree pose, s/he probably doesn’t need the dare of the block.  If s/he doesn’t have good balance in tree pose, is risking a severe ankle injury worth it?  Do students come to yoga class to place themselves in fear or to risk severe injury?

To me, it just seems dangerous for no reason.  So I’ll never teach it.

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