In yoga practice, as in life, it’s vital to create a healthy foundation if you want to be strong.
Without a fortified and solid base, it’s impossible to progress to higher levels. Consider if a skyscraper or even a two-story building is built without properly preparing the soil beneath it: any shift in the earth, excess of rain, or other changes can cause the structure to collapse.
Just like an architect plans a safe, strong building that will withstand the test of time, yogis need to create strong bodies, resistant to injury, from the ground up. A good yoga instructor will teach standing yoga poses beginning with the position of the feet and legs. Without the feet in proper alignment, the knees can be stressed, the pelvis misaligned and the spine compromised. Standing poses are excellent for creating strong flexible legs and creating the proper balance of stability and mobility in the hips and pelvis.
Beyond the observable physical benefits of more powerful muscles, stronger bones, and healthy joints, yoga benefits the subtle body, or the blueprint of our physical body. Seven main chakras, part of the Nadis or energy channels running throughout our system, are located along the spine. Focusing on the lower body benefits the Root or Muladhara Chakra.
Located at the base of the spine, Mulahdhara is associated with the element of earth and satisfying the basic needs such as food, shelter, safety, family––survival. If basic needs aren’t handled first, it's easy to remain stuck in a pattern of simply surviving, as opposed to progressing and elevating yourself to your highest potential.
How can you worry about enlightenment when you don’t know where your next meal is coming from or where you’ll sleep tonight?
Strengthening your legs and hips has the corresponding benefit of creating a strong, balanced root chakra. Letting go of stress and tension tied to your lower body will not just increase your physical strength, but will also help you resolve unresolved emotional issues.
Try one or all of this week’s classes and flow into your most powerful self.
1. Dana Hanizeski - Iyengar Yoga: Deep Release for the Hips and Legs
2. Becca Riopelle - Legs for Days
3. Christen Bakken - Hanuman: Leap of Faith
4. Ellen Kaye - Align & Flow: Hanuman Flow
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