The Root Cause

I found my mantra for 2013 while bending forward over my legs inspecting the stubby toes that protruded from my feet. Sunday morning was here again along with my weekly power vinyasa class. A grid of rainbow mats extended in all directions, defining invisible boundaries of personal space. Brandon called out from the front of the room and we began a new transition in a wave of energy.  A forest of human spines erupting through space. 

Root down. Reach up.

In vinyasa yoga, movement and breath are connected through conscious intension. The mind is aware of the body and in turn, the body is aware of movement and air flow.This morning, in the ritual of sun salutation, I became aware of my emergence into the new year. I tried to define my challenges and goals. Brandon began to speak, to relate yoga to our daily lives. My mind drifted and returned as I struggled to maintain a focused practice. Root down. 

Roots prevent trees from toppling over during harsh winds and heavy snows. They pull water and nutrients up from the ground, pry sidewalks apart and grow together in tangled balls beneath canopies of green. Roots can give humans their history or take it away. My legs become one trunk and my roots push past rubber and wood, down through the studio floor.Children without roots wander aimlessly in search of family history and a place to call home. The ceiling fan blows warm air through my branches overhead. Reach up. 

yoga_treePeople who walk with eyes skyward often benefit from an uplifted disposition. The sail attached to a sturdy mast will always capture the wind. The whispering kite has a reliable base and taut string while individuals with continued success have built a grounded foundation. We cannot choose where our roots begin or where our stories start. But we do have the power to build our roots, strengthen our base and reach toward the heavens. Dreams are only limited by the fungal disease of our self-doubt.

I leave you with my motto for the upcoming year. I hope it provides you strength as you move forward in your own life.

“Root down through the earth. Reach up to the stars. Everything is possible.”

World’s New Years Resolutions

The world needs some New Year’s Resolutions. With all that has happened in 2012, it’s time for us to reevaluate how we individually treat one another and collectively function as a planet. And while these thoughts might be idealistic, we are all we’ve got. Change starts with the human spirit.

The World: New Year’s Resolutions for 2013

Encourage walking.

Foster long-distance relationships between forgotten friendships.

Help neighbors rebuild a sense of community. 

Inform people that the physical capacity to have children is not a good enough reason to do so.

Create the impetus for immediate action surrounding climate change.

Give all hungry children food.

Plant more trees.

Have those with plenty give to those with few. 

Nourish creativity.

Eliminate racism and hatred.

Remind those with a soft bed to be thankful. Every night.

Breed acceptance for those who are different from what we know.

Stop all weapons from hurting people. 

Eat well.

Live within the means of the Earth.

Shower one another with renewed hope. For the future and for ourselves.

Happy New Year.