ON GROUNDED EXPANSION
An essential component of any effective yoga posture is the establishment of roots.
In order for something in the body to lift (let’s say the center of the chest while in a seated pose), something else in the body has to ground (in this case the sitting bones). The chest isn’t lifted just for the sake of lifting the chest, it’s lift is clarified and invigorated by what action is taking place at the roots of the pose.
Go to an Iyengar yoga class and you’ll experience countless set’s of opposing actions in each posture. It’s the awakening of our awareness to these sets of opposites that gradually captivates the mind’s attention and absorbs the posture in concentration.
Slowly, we gain the capacity to find extraordinary depth through the roots of each pose. That rooting action inevitably evokes a seemingly unending upward rising action through the poses’s peak. (often the crown of the head).
The axiom is simple: What goes down, must go up.
This is what I like to call Grounded Expansion.
It’s often that practicing a yoga posture can take us into deep feelings and sensations, or we can experience a old memory that still carries a charge. This is a predictable byproduct of doing yoga postures. It’s what meant by the purification of the body, mind and heart.
But it can be scary to experience ourselves in such a true way.
This is one of the beautiful things that asana practice has to offer.
The posture (and how we practice is it) is actually preparing us to experience the reality of the present moment. It unmasks us, and reveals what is present. It takes us through the layers of our being (physical, mental, emotional), and reveals that all the while, there has been something deeper present.
Yoga postures have the capacity to reveal that beyond all the layers of protection, fear, doubt, anger, judgement (whatever it is), at our essence there exists something immeasurable and ever present.
A light. A force. An energy so potent that when we touch it we come up with words like bliss, radiance, oneness, expansion, love, unification, wholeness, pure being.
For me it is extraordinary that something so practical as a yoga posture has the potential to reveal such meaningful and deep aspects of our humanity.
ROOTS and WINGS
In order to reach those heights, we must be grounded. It’s the only way. Actually it’s the true grounding that takes us there. So the experience of expansion, of union, of Yoga cannot be separated from it’s roots.
Finding our roots to take flight. Grounding down to soar up into the totality of our being. It’s a process, and there is no rush. So even if we don’t learn a lot, we are guaranteed to learn a little.
With patience, love, understanding, a sense of humor, and the willingness to explore, we continue on the path. One step at a time.