I admire yogi Michele Theoret for many of the same reasons I admire Noah Karrasch: both are on a mission to increase awareness around the mind body connection, so we can move through life with grace, vitality, and equanimity. I brought Theoret’s book, Empowered Body, to our last Dreamers & Schemers gathering on roots and grounding because she writes very clearly about what it means and why it is so important to be physically, mentally, and emotionally grounded:
Our roots are our connection to the earth and therefore serve to ground us. Grounding orients us in space and time. It allows up to show up in the moment, detaching from future-based expectations and fears as well as past retreats and defeats. To be strongly grounded allows us to stand on our own two feet and face what is in front of us without flinching, to remain anchored to our truth in the face of opposition. Without grounding, we are unstable—we get swept off our feet. By losing touch with our ground we also lose our sense of connection with the earth and the intricate web in which we are connected, leaving many feeling isolated and out of touch with their bodies and the environment that supports them. (Theoret 74)
For her being fully grounded does not only mean being mentally focused on the present moment, but also feeling supported both physically and emotionally:
Feeling supported can offer a sense of strength and safety, which then allows us clarity and the ability to align with our heart and higher vision, as opposed to acting from fear. Socially this looks like feeling supported by others who align with your higher purpose and trusting them to hold you through the process. Physically, in our bodies, this looks like strengthening the roots—the musculature of the feet, legs, and hips. Having support allows us to become unstuck in the face-down moments where we feel insecure and immobilized as opposed to uprooted, propelling us forward in the direction of highest calling. (Theoret 74)
Theoret lists a number of standing and balancing poses that strengthen our physical roots:
- mountain (tadasana)
- triangle (trikonasana)
- warrior (virhabradhasana)
- tree (vrksasana)
- warrior III (dekasana)
I appreciate how she offers reflection questions for each asana highlighted. Here I share her questions for the most basic standing pose (mountain) and the most basic balancing pose (tree).
Questions for contemplation in mountain pose:
Where am I?
Where is the weight in my feet?
How do I show up for myself?
How am I limiting myself, playing small, or not showing up?
What does it feel like to be grounded? (Theoret 130)
Questions for contemplation for tree pose:
How does it feel when the winds of change begin to blow? Do you feel grounded or rooted?
What dead branches do I need to trim away in order to thrive?
What are some of my beliefs, stories, and theories that are limiting my growth?
Can you use some of your “shit” as compost for your roots?
What feeds my spirit?
How am I connected to and supported by the environment: physically, mentally, and emotionally?
Do these questions change your experience of each pose? What are you learning about your roots and grounding? Share your thoughts below!