What Upholds YouJan 25, 2023
I’ve always considered the foundation of a pose - the part of the body that’s in contact with the floor - to be significant in more ways than one.
As the first outward expression of a pose, it’s an opportunity to refresh the presence and meaning we wish to bring to our practice.
Yoga teachers often compare the foundation of a pose to that of a building: both are the underlying base upon which a structure is constructed.
Like in a building, the foundation of a pose needs to be balanced and steady to provide the optimal support to everything above it.
For example, the way you place your hands in Downward-facing Dog Pose will impact the arms, shoulders, neck, and upper back. The position and placement of your feet in Triangle Pose can greatly affect your lower legs, thighs, hips, back, spine, and torso.
But human beings aren’t buildings, of course, and we can consider the importance of a solid foundation beyond our physicality to include:
- The people, past and present, who support and bolster you; the teachers, mentors, friends, and ancestors upon whose shoulders you stand as you move through the world.
- The beliefs and values that form the bedrock of your character as well as the practices, traditions, and routines that keep them alive for you in your daily life.
- The places and landscapes you love, and the elements of the natural world that most strengthen you and bring you back to an unchanging sense of yourself and your place in the world.
Just as you attend to the foundation of your feet to build a better Triangle pose, you can turn to this expanded notion of foundation to uphold and steady you when life feels shaky.