Paying Attention to Our Roots

Posted on : 17-06-2006 | By : Lynn | In : Heart Talks, Uncategorized


I almost drowned today in Yoga. Yes, I rebelled against the rule-of-thumb that it is usually a good idea to NOT chew gum while practicing yoga, especially if the yoga class is going to be focused on inversions (turning your body upside down).  There I was in a pretty good half-moon pose with my left leg out in a runner’s lunge and my right leg back behind me with the knee down and the top of my foot rooted into the ground.  As I inhaled my arms up over my head and leaned back into the crescent shaped backwards bend, I felt that familiar feeling of not being able to breathe because water had somehow made it into my nasal passages. What’s more, we held this pose for awhile supposedly breathing in and releasing tension in our bodies.More...
 All I could think was that this was a heckuva a lot more crazy way to die than Mama Cass choking on a ham sandwich.  Would CSI be able to figure it out?
The main lesson in the class today was to pay attention to our roots. We were taught to root our feet into the ground first as we are going into our pose so that we could then stretch out in any number of ways, confident that our bodies could move where we wanted them to move.  Almost drowning on my saliva because of the distraction of chewing gum is a great example of how I can “forget” to root myself into my body and therefore into my day before I begin taking whatever action is planned. 
What I’ve learned in rooting myself before I begin a pose, such as the triangle pose, is that when I’m rooted, I can stretch further. When I am not, I’m going to probably become off-balanced and at least hop out of place if not fully fall flat onto my face.  If I take this lesson and apply it into my day, I am reminded to do those things that help to “ground” me into my being so that I have a firm base before stretching out into various directions. 
The base of my day consists of prayer and connection with a higher source, a good nutritious breakfast, reading inspirational material to give my brain something to chew on during the day and speaking with various people that I a mentor in a 12-step program, including my own mentor.  Once this firm base is established then I can look at the day ahead and plan accordingly.  If I want to explore a new direction by talking with a new prospective client or reaching out my hand to help a friend, I can stretch from this base and know that I have a firm foundation to support myself.
Sometimes I still feel vulnerable about stretching into new areas, so I pay attention and go only as far as comfortably possible.  When I do have times like this though, at least I “know” where I am coming from because of being firmly rooted so that then all my actions are out of choice and not out of knee-jerk reaction.
I don’t want to admit here the implications of chewing gum in my daily living yet, but suffice it to say if you’re planning on turning your world upside down today you might want to take the chewing gum out of the equation.
Feel your roots.  Use them to create a firm base so that you can stretch your fingertips to the stars.


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