We acquired true respect and a heart-felt understanding for “rooting to Mother Earth” when, for about a year, our 6:00 am Kundalini Yoga class practiced the yogic technology of posture alignment in Guru Prem Singh Khalsa’s book, Divine Alignment.
Guru Prem says, “In every yoga posture, at least one part of the body is touching the floor. This is the root of the posture, where the weight of the body is balanced in relationship to gravity.”
And we also “use bandhas to construct a posture from the inside. They are protective devices. They build a foundation and then protect and hold it. Mula Bandha (Root Lock) is our primary earth connection. We pull on the navel, engage the pelvic floor, and are root lined to the earth. It stabilizes the pelvis with gravity so the heart has a chance to lift up and open.”
So, here I am now with this new awareness, practicing it myself and teaching my students to “root to Mother Earth.”
The first thing we do before ‘tuning in’ in my Chair Yoga classes, is sit forward in the chair and firmly plant the bottoms of our feet on the floor (if possible), allowing the sensation of the pads under our toes, the balls and outside of our feet and our heels being rooted to Mother Earth. We go within and focus on the feeling of the weight at the backs of our legs and buttocks where we are settled into the chair that is supporting us. Then, we find and rock on our sit bones and push up off of them, rotating the pelvis to raise the spine and open the chest and heart center.
After studying, practicing and teaching it for so many years, I’ve acquired an automatic habit of applying this yogic tool of rooting, and along with the effort I make to align my pelvis and spine in relation to the root, I play with a mental image of what Mother Earth looks like today…the cows grazin’ in the grass and the snow on the mountains, worms slithering through the mud, fossils stuck in rocks and the flowers and the weeds pushing their roots down through the mulch into the soil–and the trees diggin’ deeper than that.
I wonder how many miles down the ocean goes and how hot the sand is on the desert floor.
Now, here comes my story:
Our neighborhood is getting all of our 100-year-old water supply lines replaced by the city. First, we get a notice hung on our front doorknobs informing us that there will be construction in our area for the next 2-3 months.
Soon come the trucks, the Porta Potty and lots of men and women in hardhats and orange vests, shovels and phones in hand. Next thing you know, our yard is marked with way more little red flags than the other yards on the block – “uh-oh; what’s next?”
A few days later, we find out that our property has the perfect specs for digging the hole they need to install their Boring Machine. The plan is to hollow out a tunnel, thread and connect 20-foot long pipes from our house all the way down to the end of the block, underneath a connecting 4-lanes-wide street with a median strip and into the next block.
So, here comes the bulldozer and a dump truck, and a backhoe drives off the bed of a Mack Transporter onto our front lawn, and they start digging…and they dig, and they dig, slicing through and excavating way under the outer roots of our 33 year old, 3-story-high, Lacebark Elm tree which unfortunately lies in their path.
Finally after 2 days, they kinda clean up so I’m thinking they’re done…but they come back and dig some more, eventually revealing golden sand and below that a white layer of crushed shells. Bucket after bucket got scooped out of that hole for days and days, dumped into huge trucks and hauled off.
That trench got big enough for an SUV to be dropped down in there and driven back and forth with plenty of room to spare. WOW! – the city is giving us a swimming pool right in our front yard. Not.
Periodically, I would go out there and hover over the edge to see what in God’s name was goin’ on down there and, boy oh boy, that wet, dense black gumbo went down sooo deep – Mother Earth is HEAVY!
Talk about a reality check! There I was, thinking in my head that Mother Earth is “yeah big and so deep” but now I understand energetically that it’s way way deeper than that, and then some!
My consciousness had a supernova blast and that shallow, happy little picture I was referring to, to identify Mother Earth, shifted big-time and opened my mind’s eye by allowing me to feel the truth.
And now I find myself wondering who the person is right across the planet from me, if a line would be drawn from where I’m sitting in Easy Pose and applying Mula Bandha, straight through the middle of all that fathomless mass with its molten core and out the other side of the planet, and feeling our connection by way of my open heart.
And I see a woman over there on the other side of the world, breathing through a labor contraction, bringing forth yet another child for Mother Earth to naturally provide for.