Taking Mountain Pose Off The Mat and into Your Life

Alissa Lastres
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Picture it: you’re standing in mountain pose, grounding yourself into the mat and the earth beneath it. You spread your toes and press into them, into your heels,allowing the arches of your feet to rise. You send energy up your legs and place attention on keeping them strong and steady. You draw in your tailbone, hold in your stomach, and breathe your shoulders back into place.
 
You keep your focus on each of these areas as you raise your arms above your head and reach them toward the sky. Envision that a string is pulling the top of your head upward, pulling your body in two different directions. Your mind is on rooting down while reaching up, hoping to find a state of equilibrium between the two.
 
We can apply this practice of equilibrium, of balancing between what we root into and what we reach toward, to our lives. As we learn and discover more about ourselves, about who we are and what we want, we continually try to find a balance between rooting in the now and reaching for the stars.

“We can root down by focusing on authenticity”

We can root down by focusing on authenticity, by paying close attention to who we are in our most natural state. We hold non-judgmental awareness of what makes us smile, what causes us stress, how we behave on our best and worst days.
 
We don’t compare ourselves to others or hope to be something more. We don’t look for a voice in someone else’s, but we really listen to our own. We understand our habits. We accept them. We get to know our strengths and we relish in them. We spend time with our thoughts, noticing how they impact our emotions and behaviors.
 

 
We watch how others respond to us, knowing this is important, but also knowing that as long as our actions are coming from a place of love, we will continue to be who we are regardless. We make no excuses or apologies for shining our light. We shine this light and own it. It sparkles in a way that no one else can claim because it is ours. We feel pride in this.
 
But at the same time we reach. We try to improve on those areas we have control over. We push ourselves to explore what else we are capable of. We step outside of our comfort zone just to see what happens. We seek to discover more about ourselves by the challenge of entering into the unknown.
 
We understand that there is always room to improve, to grow. We know that we are forever evolving and changing. We embrace the idea that minor adjustments can make a huge difference. Maybe after we have noticed our thoughts, we work on making them more positive. We might notice that we don’t spend enough time doing the things we love, so we decide to shake things up and make more room for them. Perhaps we realize that our communication can be enhanced, so we practice patience and the ability to respond rather than react.

“The beauty is that there exists a balance.”

The beauty is that there exists a balance. If we root too much, we risk becoming complacent. We might settle and accept where we stand without knowing what the next few steps might hold. When we spend too much energy on reaching, we can develop insecurities. We get swept away in our shortcomings. We focus too much energy on becoming better instead of loving the person we already are.
 
So we work to find a way for the two to coexist. We try to keep the pendulum from swaying too far in one direction. Think about yourself and where you are right now. Are you rooting or reaching? Where do you place more attention on a regular basis? Have you been effective in finding a balance between the two? If so, what does that balance feel like?
 
How do you know you have reached it? Stand in mountain pose and think about rooting into the ground while reaching toward the sky. Find that equilibrium in your body. Apply this to your life.

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Alissa Lastres

Alissa Lastres has a graduate degree in Mental Health Counseling. She practices yoga daily and loves writing about wellness because she feels that we all harbor so much power to create a life of happiness and love. She is inspired easily, thrives on new experiences, and believes traveling is good for the soul.

alissalastres.com

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