Why Bother Noticing Your Foundation?
Over the course of the years that my husband has been in the business of building houses, I have visited his various job sites in their different stages of progress. I think the messiest stage of building a house is its foundation, but it is the most necessary part of any building. If the foundation is not level, the rest of the building will not be square. If the foundation is not strong, the walls will not stand. Without a good foundation, the building is doomed.
Your Feet Your Foundation
What holds true with a building, holds true with a body. When I first began practicing yoga, it made me aware of my feet; the foundation which holds our bodies erect.
In yoga classes that I’ve taught, I always start out by having my students stand up and look down at their feet. Then I instruct them to lift all their toes and press the big toe mound down into the mat. Then I’ll ask them to set their toes down, but to distribute their body weight evenly to the inner and outer part of their feet as well as the heels.
As my students direct their attention to their feet, then I also ask them to notice their ankles, knees, legs, hips, back, shoulders, neck and head. Like a tree, we find our stance from the ground up. As our feet set themselves firmly into the ground, then our bodies rise up, erect and strong. It is from this strong stance that we can then begin to move into various poses. When our feet are firm and strong then our movements will be too.
Convictions Hold Up What We Believe
Like a foundation that holds up a house and feet that hold up a body, convictions hold up what we believe. We don’t all believe the same things, but it is important to notice what we do believe.
Are my beliefs true? Are my beliefs strong? Is my position level? Do my principles help me move in the right direction? Do they keep me balanced? If my convictions do not have a strong foundation, if they are not grounded on something solid, then I won’t be able to stand erect. I’ll falter, waver, and eventually fall down. Without a good foundation, I am doomed.
Why bother noticing your foundation? If it is not level, you will be off kilter. If you are not grounded, you will falter. If you are not firmly planted, then you won’t be able to stand erect. It is worth noticing your stance so if need be, you can find a firm footing.