Root First, then Integrate, then Expand

Building yoga postures can be very similar to growing fruits and vegetables. The preparatory stages of an asana are like a tomato seed living in an indoor seedling tray. You tend it very carefully to provide the optimal conditions for it to sprout and begin to grow. This is your consistent practice to strengthen and open the appropriate parts of you in preparation for one day embodying your intended asana or posture. Now it is time to build your intended asana.

First you need a steady and rooted foundation, like the tomato plant whose roots are deep enough and whose leaves are hardy enough to help it withstand the elements outdoors. In yoga postures this would be your stable anchors in the ground, generally your feet and sometimes your hands or knees or other parts of the body. Then you need integration and strength, like the upright main trunk of the plant and the slowly-toughening outer layers of the trunk and branches (in this case combined with a supporting cage structure). This would be the muscular strength, integration, and core support in your posture. Then it is finally time to grow and expand, all the while maintaining your roots and your integration. They will support you as you reach for the sun and the stars and extend your branches to all sides to bear delicious fruits!!

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