Yoga Tip: Foundations

This is my first yoga-related post. Where better to start than the foundation of our practice? For me, because I view yoga as both a physical as well as spiritual practice, the word foundation applies to my faith and where my body meets the mat.

Having a firm foundation is essential to rising up into a strong alignment in our poses. In my yoga tradition, Holy Yoga, we often refer to this as rooting down. We root down through whatever parts are touching the mat. In seated poses, we root through our sit bones. In standing poses, we root through the four corners of our feet. When we are in a table top or down dog, we root through our palms and our knees or feet.

When we mindfully root into the mat, we create a stable platform on which the rest of our body can build a pose. Without that firm foundation, our poses wobble, our alignment is forced, and our body wastes a lot of energy just staying upright. When our pose is built on a proper foundation, we can almost float, completely at rest in our proper alignment.

The same is true for me in my spirit. If I have invested in a firm foundation, I find it easier to walk through the day mindful of the people around me, loving and serving in productive ways. When my foundation is weak, I struggle. It takes a lot of effort just to answer kindly, or practice patience in basic situations (like waiting in line at the grocery store).

My foundation is a relationship with the creator of life, Jesus. Sometimes I need to spend a lot of time praying, listening, meditating on words given to me in the Bible. Then I simply need to maintain an open connection so that his life can flow through me. When I find myself struggling in my daily life, I know it is time to re-examine my foundation. Am I rooting into Christ, and using that stable platform to build my life? Or am I forcing myself into alignment without a firm foundation?

Rooting down to rise up strong.
Now that’s ReFreshing!

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