~ awake in this moment, at home in the world ~


October 22, 2022
An alternate set of yoga instructions for tadasana, or mountain pose...

Stand on your own two feet, supported by your strong and steady legs, with spine long and head floating upward into the sky. Adjust your feet - closer together or farther apart - until you feel both steady and spacious, both well-rooted and light. Breathe freely. Be watchful. Be present. Be a mountain.

Shift your body around a bit - adjusting your hips forward, backward, side to side - until you hit a sweet spot of balance, a place that feels stable and filled with ease. Look for that lovely melding of deep earthiness and wide-open awareness.

Float your hips atop your thigh bones, letting your bones be weighty and your roots run deep. Adjust the bowl of your pelvis until it feels supportive and strong, a faithful container for life that swirls within. Invite your spine to ripple upward out of that support, your head floating gently atop the highest peak of the spine.

Let the gentle breezes of the breath fill and empty you, eroding your sharper edges and buoying your inner landscape with energy and light. Welcome in a sense of grandeur, of majesty, of amazement for the vastness of life.

Perhaps call to mind your favorite mountain peak, and let that image settle into your bones. Mountains are enormous. They are vast and rugged. They are unswayed by tiny dramas of the day. They take the long view and they seem to know what matters most.

Mountains live in slow time. They are deliberate. They embody their own truth, and maintain deep fidelity to all creation. They are a home, a playground, a vista that lets us to see to the far ends of the earth. Mountains do change, of course, but slowly, over long stretches, in deep consultation with the wind and the rain and the clear blue sky.

Enjoy being something bigger than your small self for a while. Allow your heart to be filled with amazement and awe. Enjoy the wider perspective, the panoramic view. Priorities come into clearer focus. Truths emerge. Fidelity to the earth deepens. Love of the sky expands.

As a mountain, you begin to understand that unbridled presence changes everything. Just being here - showing up with strength and love, for one another and for the whole wide world - matters most.

Here, now, a part of all creation, invite the mountain of your inmost being to shine with steadiness and light.

Playing in the pose: There are lots of ways to be a mountain, of course, and lots of ways to play. Perhaps one day you'd rather be a seated mountain, or even a long, low, lilting mountain range that fits the landscape while lying especially close to the ground, on your belly or back. Another day your mountain might like to rest against a wall, welcoming a little support from behind. 

Or, you might like to explore the play of opposites, sensing your mountain's roots settle deep into the ground while feeling your head soar upward through the clouds. Extend your arms up overhead and see how that changes the experience. Invite the "bubbling springs" in the heart of each foot to plug into the earth beneath, connecting your mountain to all of the other lovely mountains in the world.

Don't let anyone tell you that your mountain needs to look a certain way. Don't let life manhandle your being into a straight jacket. Mountains breathe. They even move. They are filled with sacred energy and truth. Mountains know exactly who they are, where they stand, and what matters most.