Root to rise
Ground to grow
Foundation fosters freedom
This wisdom was brought to light for me through the practice of yoga. However, it wasn’t until I began to practice restorative yoga specifically that I began to truly understand and integrate these insights. In this restorative practice, we more deeply tune into and consciously work with the nature of gravity. Throughout the entire practice, we stay close and connected to the ground. We allow ourselves to lean in and surrender to the built-in foundation of the earth, a constant support which we tend to forget is always holding us.
With conscious awareness of the earth as our foundation, we elevate that support with tools and props such as blocks, bolsters and blankets. We arrange these props in very specific ways, customized to our unique, individual body to create the optimal conditions to best support our physical posture in order to maximize the benefits. We find ourselves in a nurturing environment that is equal parts solid and soft, that allows us to find comfort what could be uncomfortable. We linger in these postures for a greater length of time to allow for passive, gentle and more natural openings. We slow down, we take our time, we journey through each posture from the ground up, using our foundation as the platform for expansion. And the power source for this practice is simply intention.
Restorative yoga is not a practice in which you can simply roll out your mat and begin to move. It requires us to turn our attention inward on ourselves and consider the current state of our bodies and our energy. With that understanding, we can intentionally gather props that best support our individual needs in that moment. By consciously arranging these props in such a way that supports our own unique body—down to how we roll or fold our blankets, to create the most supportive foundation for our experience.
This practice requires us to show up with an incredible level of intentionality. The result should leave you feeling supported, restored, rejuvenated, grounded and open. So, it got me thinking…if we take this approach to a practice that so beautifully supports and rejuvenates, why not seek to build out the elements of our life the way we do this practice?
You see, the practice goes beyond the physical experience—it truly is a metaphor for life. It is constantly revealing to us more about who we are, the patterns which we habitually function from, our triggers, any limiting beliefs that we choose to identify with, how we move through and approach things and so much more. As we practice, we discover. As we discover, we continue to show up to the practice so that we can observe our progress and continue to grow. The root of all of this is intention—with intention as the foundation for your practice (and your life), whatever comes next will be elevating and lasting.
So, if you want to embody intention and infuse that in your life, I highly recommend a regular restorative yoga practice to help show you what that looks and feels like in your body. Make sure you have a mat that supports your needs, a couple of blocks, some blankets and a bolster. Lay down, fill any space between your body and the ground with the appropriate props in such a way that you feel fully supported and held. Then lean in, surrender and allow the magic to flow.
Written by: Rachel Brous