When practicing or teaching grounding poses, energetically there’s rooting, grounding, strength and stability. These actions are all embodied in nature, especially in trees. We embody these characteristics in vrksasana (tree pose). So, the yogi, the tree, is rooted, grounded, strong and stable. It can definitely appear so on the outside. But what about the soil? We focus so much on the qualities of the tree, our qualities, do we focus enough on where we are planted?
This spring and summer it has rained and rained and rained. It’s been great for the farmers, gardeners and kids who would rather not get up early for swim team. But, it’s taken it’s toll in other areas. We were hit with another storm this week, which brought with it high winds and a torrential downpour. The winds were strong enough to break off tree branches. Some of trees, strongest in appearance, were brought to the ground. The soil was weakened and compromised many were completely uprooted.
Mother nature provides the best metaphors. These strong rooted trees, long established and thriving, were toppled by a challenging wind. They appeared to be grounded, stable, invincible, but their foundation was weak.
People are the same. We can appear strong, able to sway in the breeze as we face change or challenge, but it can just be what we show the outside world. It all depends on how we are rooted. If we put our roots down in anger, selfishness, degrading habits, destructive people or negative energy our foundation, or soil, is compromised and weak. Imagine a rocky soil that strains to create and support life.
If we choose a foundation of love, service, community and live-giving energy, not only are we strong, but our soil is as well. It can support us, feed us and help us thrive. So, the strength and stability we may feel and show is reinforced by our foundation, our soil. When we are rooted in good soil, the combination with our strength and pliability allows us to withstand the storm.
So, consider your soil. Do you surround yourself with people who uplift, support and want the best for you. Do you pursue activities that are life-giving and contributory? Do you act with love and service? Be sure to tend the soil for the strongest, best-rooted tree.
“Consider what each soil will bear and what each refuses.” -Virgil
Enjoy the Tree-Lined Journey,
Special thanks to Rita E. for the use of her picture.
(This blog was originally posted on lotushouseofyoga.wordpress.com.)