I have just returned from my annual sojourn ‘home’ to Canada and one of the great experiences that I had on my trip was a cycling tour of some of Ontario’s best vineyards. I am not a wine buff and know very little about viticulture, but I was fascinated by the science of wines, and in particular the farming practices that are both traditional, and always evolving based on what works.
This is a philosophy of mine too, when it comes to yoga study and practice; honouring the traditions and ancient teachings while at the same time continuing to practice, experiment, explore, and seek out what works.
One of the interesting experiments that I saw being undertaken was the deliberate stressing of the vines. They were attempting to put the vines under a controlled amount of stress so that their roots would grow deeper into the earth, and then they would be better able to survive and thrive through the uncontrollable stresses that usually harm the plans – namely the harsh Canadian winter.
I thought about this in relation to yoga and meditation practice and realized that this is what we do in our practice. We put ourselves through a controlled amount of stress when we move, breath, focus and stay present…and this helps us to grow deeper ‘roots’ into Self which makes us stronger, hardier, and more able to survive and thrive through the uncontrollable stresses of life.
This month I will be playing with this theme in my own practice, and I invite you to join me. Imagine when you are strengthening, stretching, breathing, and meditating that the stresses that you are placing on muscles, mind, and emotions are giving you the chance to deepen and strengthen your root system, providing greater support, stability, nourishment and connection, and this will help you to weather even the harshest storms.