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Root Down to Rise Up


"Root down to rise up" is an instruction given often by yoga teachers. It uses linking language to connect two body parts, something I learned about during my yoga teacher training in 2012. By following this direction, the student enhances his or her pose by grounding or anchoring the lower body, allowing for greater freedom in the upper body. Without a firm foundation, however, the balance and alignment the body needs is compromised.

Not surprisingly, the same thing can be said about how we live our lives. Much has occurred this year to test our balance: the global pandemic; acknowledgment of systemic racism; a contentious election, and now wildfires on the U.S. West Coast. If we aren't grounded in the values that give our lives meaning and purpose, we are more likely to stumble and lose our footing, succumbing to overwhelm, worry and anxiety.

I was reminded of this during a (virtual) meeting with clients yesterday. Yes, they are spending most of their time at home, and their activities are constrained. Yet in their words, they feel "blessed." They are enjoying each other's company, supporting local businesses, and engaging in activities that bring them joy, including ballroom dancing in their kitchen and learning to play a musical instrument. Their stated values of family and creativity, identified when we first started to work together, are supporting them during this unsettling time.

What values are you relying upon for support? I find myself making more time for relationships, for study and writing. I am sleeping a bit later, eating well and exercising. Please let me know what you are doing.