Every morning I get out of bed and stand on my two feet and fold forward. Why? I have three reasons.
First off to take a moment to lengthen my spine before running off for the day. Our backs literally take the brunt of work throughout the day from the minute we “sit up” in the morning to walking, exercising, sitting, standing, and finally lying down to sleep. I don’t know about you but I love my back and want it to last a long long long time. I don’t know if it’s scientifically proven that a simple forward bend in the morning can alleviate and/or prevent back problems but it has been bio-individually proven in MY body.
Reason two is to let go and express my gratitude for the day that awaits me. In yoga we are always bending, twisting, turning, and inverting. Although these movements appear to act on the physical body their essence and intelligence lies deeper. Bending forward is a humbling position and one of letting go. Think about it, in order to get into a full forward bend you must accept your limitation (i.e. tight hamstrings) and at the same time let go of any fears (i.e. release the neck). When practiced consistently, forward bends build humility, patience, endurance, and focus.
Lastly and more recently I have been focusing on what comes before and after the forward bend, standing in Tadasana, mountain pose. This posture not only is the start to almost all yoga practices but also to our days. I started thinking about how I want to stand in the world around me, like an uprooted tree that can easily be blown away in a winter storm, like a solid mountain standing strong and tall weathering all conditions, that’s how I want to stand in the world so why not start first thing in the morning.
Happy grounded Monday!