Setting the Foundation: Part 1 of the Universal Principles of Alignment by Patrick Montgomery

Perfect embodiment of the Universe

The human body is the perfect embodiment of the Universe. By grounding down through the four corners of the feet we have a direct experience of how the One becomes the many.

The One is ultimately free (svatantrya), non-dual, and beyond words. Even trying to describe the divine brings it down into manifestation.

The Big Energy steps down into mind and body. As spirit manifests into form there is cloaking of our true nature. We tend to forget that we are free. Our spirit feels cloaked. We feel as if we are bound up, struggling to get free.

Grounding allows Expansion

By simply grounding down, our ability to expand is increased. When we stretch in yoga we get a sense of liberation. Without the fundamental feeling of being grounded, none of the other qualities of the heart can unfold. The qualities of the pose – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual – flow from the foundation. By focusing on the foundation we feel safer, stable, and trusting. When we feel secure we can expand.

Contemplative Practice:

  • This week notice how you think in terms of liberation and manifestation.
  • What circumstances do you want to be liberated from? What makes you think, “get me out of this.”
  • What do you want to manifest in your life? What are you inspired to “get into.”
  • How do you balance these currents in your life?

Remember that embodiment is a blessing! Because you are ultimately free you can choose what you want to get into? How do you want to align? What are you passionate about? What are you curious about? Reaching out in these ways liberates us and re-connects us to our divine nature.

We are each of us a work of Art

On earth we have everything we need to understand our divine nature. God is like an artist, the creator of life. To understand an artist we study their work. By studying ourselves and nature we can begin to understand our Source. The body is a work of art – like a poem – written by the creator of life. Like a poem, the body is compressed with meaning. So, when we come to yoga to “de-compress,” it’s not just about relaxing. It is allowing the story of “How the One became the Many” to be told.

Asana Practice:

This week focus on Setting Your Foundation by grounding the four corners of your feet. Notice how you feel a sense of belonging in this world, gratitude for your body, and release of fear and anxiety.

The Four Corners of Your Feet:

four-corners-of-the-feet

Grounding the four corners of the Feet

1. spread the toes and ground the big toe mound
2. lengthen from the big toe mound to the inner heel, widen the heels, and ground the inner heel.
3. ground the little toe mound and extend thru the little toe.
4. ground the outer heel. feel the arches lift.

Poses to practice grounding:

Tadasana, Warrior Poses, Reverse Warrior, Vrksasana, Paschimottanasana, Marichyasana 3, Baddha Konasana.

May you be free,
Patrick