Getting Rooted

My husband and I were just in Vail, Colorado for a couple of days after dropping our daughter off at an overnight camp outside of Denver. The highlight of the trip was a long, steep hike up Vail Mountain. It was as beautiful (and did I mention steep?) as you’d guess. For much of the hike we had to keep our eyes on the narrow winding path, which was tricky to navigate. I have never seen so many tree roots in my life. They wove under and above the earth in countless patterns. They criss-crossed each other as well as the plants, rocks and flowers that lay in their path. They were as varied as you can imagine: think, thin, round, flat, raised, buried within crevices. These roots were truly a sight to behold.

In yoga we sometimes talk about our roots (especially here at YR!). Getting really grounded in a pose, building it from the earth up. What we are talking about can be likened to the myriad tree roots on Vail Mountain. To grow and flourish, a tree must have firm, strong roots. So too with us. When we start from our base, there is no limit to our capacity to grow.

What does this mean – starting from our base? Interpretations can abound. But to me, it simply means really knowing ourselves. Our values, our passions, our fears, our challenges. Once we know, we can grow.

So how do we get to really know ourselves? One way is just by being really tuned into our bodies and our minds when we are on our mats. Pay attention to what arises: sensations in the body, how we react to them in our minds. By bearing witness to our own lives, we see what really is and can grow from there.