Note: This is not where I thought this post was going. I hope you find it helpful, especially if you have ever had your world flipped upside-down (and let’s be honest, who hasn’t?).
In my yoga classes I talk a lot about foundation. Anything you try to build is only as strong as the foundation you build it on, be it a yoga pose, a business, or a big life change. So build a strong foundation.
This month as we have been focusing on being rooted in ritual, in grounding ourselves as we enter this new year, there is something we have to keep in mind – sometimes, usually quite unexpectedly, life flips us upside-down.
Then, no matter how much work you have done and no matter how grounded you have felt, what do you do?
If you have been focusing on grounding your feet into the earth and they are suddenly reaching towards the sky, how can you still feel grounded?
We practice this on our mats when we move our bodies into inversions. Instead of grounding with our feet and our legs, they are lifted to the sky as we root down into our hands, our arms, the top of our head.
And so, another lesson gleamed from the yoga asana practice – you can always root down, and you can always rise up strong.
We practice inversions and we come to recognize the importance of having a fresh perspective. When life flips us upside-down, that’s exactly what it offers us – a fresh perspective.
Fresh perspectives sometimes come with shock, with bone-deep pain, with a sense that the world will never right itself again. It will. And you will be stronger. And you will see the world in a new way.
What you take from the practice of feeling grounded, on your mat or off, is the lesson that you can. You can root down. You can root yourself in ritual, you can root yourself in breath, you can root yourself in practices that nourish you when the world feels like it is falling apart around you.
Sometimes we have the opportunity to cultivate these practices before life flips us upside-down again, and sometimes the practices grow out of the experience of being upside-down.
When the day is so hard that you cannot even get out of bed, a single glass of water can feel like a root burrowing into the earth, connecting you to nutrients that are vital for your survival.
When you cannot move from the couch because the world seems too hard to face, surrendering to the tears can be the way you cleanse yourself.
When the panic takes hold of your body and it feels like there is no way of escaping it, you can find your breath and let that guide you home.
You can. And you will.
So the next time your life gets flipped upside-down, remember this – no matter which way is up, you can always ground yourself.
With Love and Gratitude,