During one of our Scholé Yoga University sessions this fall, we had a discussion about the differences between building walls, and having boundaries. With walls being a hot topic in politics, the insights from our amazing teachers in training are especially interesting to share with our wider Scholé Yoga Collective.

Walls divide us, close things off, and block others out - but they also shelter us. Sometimes the shelter is welcome, like walls that shelter us from hot sun and cold storms. Other times, the walls shelter us from learning more and growing by being challenged by other ideas and perceptions that differ from our own. Building walls to keep others out might be a sign that we feel vulnerable about something, and there may be much more to look into under the surface.

Rather than building walls, we can think about having boundaries. The difference between the two might feel kind of arbitrary. Sure, a wall can be a boundary. But boundaries can be other things than walls. They can be a limit that we define for ourselves, and a limit can often be changed more easily than a wall as we make progress and grow past our former borders.

We all have the right to define what’s acceptable for us. These limits are often connected with our values, and boundaries give structure to our personal morals. Thinking about the subtle difference between having boundaries that others can cross, and building walls to keep out change might just keep us all a little more connected in times when it’s easy to become more divided. 

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