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Your Yoga Foot Print

April 9, 2011

Tags: movement, order, body-earth connection, earth, Earth, existence, feet, foot, gravity, ground, groundedness, heaviness, India, joyfulness, mind-body connection, mind – open, position, posture, toes, weight, Your Yoga Foot Print, yoga

More than half of my years I have spent learning yoga – and I still feel a beginner. No way that I ever become a master in that ancient Indian tradition. The main thing I learned from yoga is learning itself: To have an open mind.

The moment you enroll in a yoga class, you have already conceded that your body can influence your mind – and any great learning can happen from there. When I see somebody (yes, usually, it is a woman – but there are exceptions) who is lithe and nimble and radiates an inner joyfulness, she invariably admits to a longstanding yoga practice.

But today I don’t want to talk about the mind-body connection. I want to talk about the body-earth connection.

Indeed, one could describe yoga also as a series of sitting, standing, lying positions that try to come to grips with gravity. Because you don’t want to struggle against your weight pulling you to the ground. Instead you want to work with your weight, with the ground, and come to a happy compromise.

One thing you notice over the years you are doing yoga: Your feet become bigger and wider. They also become more beautiful. These big feet really STAND on the ground, planted for good. Your toes are wider apart, standing out and wiggling as individual toes as opposed of a crowded forefoot-thingy with five toenails. Each toe counts when you solidly stand on your yoga feet – you don’t wobble. There is no hesitation – there is only the bliss of being grounded – and feeling light, very light as a result.

That is the yoga paradox: As you stand firmer on our Earth, you become lighter.

Somewhere in your lumbar spine, there is a pivotal point: When you plant your feet, the lower part of your body goes down into the ground, following gravity’s call. But from that same pivot in your spine, the rest of your body floats up toward heaven, relieved of the dire heaviness of existence.
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