‘Flying starts from the ground. The more grounded you are, the higher you fly.’
– J R Rim
With the hype of the festive season fading into distant memory, thoughts now turn to the brand new 12 months we have ahead of us. By comparison, January can be a very bleak and dark month – the tree and lights are tucked away safely, and the empty space left by the festive nibbles is replaced by green smoothies and salads.
Magazines will tell you how to make resolutions you will stick to, and tv shows will work hard to convince us all that we need to diet and exercise more. However, January offers a valuable opportunity for us to slow down, take some time to build a strong basis for moving forwards.
January can also leave us feeling a little up in the air, floating on the high of the festive season, before we come down to earth and back to reality. This is the time to create strong roots which will allow us to rise higher than we can possibly imagine. Grounding down at this time of year affords us the chance to build a strong foundation, from which we can create our goals for 2020. Physically grounding ourselves can help us to stay rooted in the present moment, without being too caught up in our heads.
Try it out
Take off your shoes and feel your feet press down into the ground. Notice the sensation in your toes and the soles of your feet. Lift your toes, pressing your heel down into the ground, try replacing the toes one by one. It’s harder than you might think! Now gently lift the heels, to balance on your toes. Feel your toes holding your weight and the subtle movements taking place to keep you balanced. Slowly replace your heels and notice your feet pressing down, evenly, equally and in a balanced manner.
Houses are built from the ground up. Strong foundations are laid which will provide a solid start on which the rest of the building can grow. Our lives are built in the same way, we need to create a solid base before we can grow and expand into whomever we hope to be. Setting intentions and planning massive goals are a great way to hold ourselves accountable, but before we progress to this stage, it’s a good idea to acknowledge where we’ve came from and why these aspirations are on our radar right now.
In our yoga practice our foundations are the fundamental building blocks of the poses and our practice. No matter how advanced or experienced you consider yourself to be, there is always room to swing back around to the basics. By slowing down and working from the ground up, we can experience our yoga postures in a new way, finding nuances and making little adjustments can allow us to find new levels of awareness, create new space and move a little deeper into this yoga practice.
Working on your foundations during a yoga class encourages us to draw energy up from our mat and use it to lift into the postures with a sense of lightness and space. Exploring our movement in this way can bring a freshness to our yoga practice, as we find something new to focus on while we move through our practice.
Try it out
Next time you step onto your yoga mat, take time to notice your foundations – any part of your body that is touching the floor. Notice where you meet your mat and try to lengthen up from the ground. If your hands are your foundation, such as in downward dog – spread your fingers as far apart as possible gripping your fingertips into the floor and draw energy up through the palms of the hands. This should help to spread your weight, taking any discomfort out of your wrists.