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"Root to Crown", by Susana Laborde-Blaj

“You can’t give what you don’t have”, I hear my teacher saying. He also reminds us constantly about our personal practice.

About 26 years ago, one of my first yoga teachers began to teach me how to meditate. As a professional dancer, I pretty much could fold my body into a pretzel, so asana seemed to be accessible (later I learned that I could really take asana to a much deeper level), but sitting and staying still, that was the most difficult thing for me. I remember either beginning to have excruciating pain in my back, or literally falling asleep.

It seems that almost without noticing, I have made decisions that have taken me closer and closer to actually meditating, somehow I think I knew “that horrible thing” was going to become “that juicy profound transformative work”, so I kept doing it.

A few days ago I was telling my son that, after years of practice, I was beginning to feel a longing for the meditation cushion, that during the day, I was savoring in advance the moment when I would go back to meditation. My body, even if older and with many challenges, seems to be comfortable there. The awareness of breath and the spine, and the willingness to be present, takes me to a place where I access what I can’t access in other ways. It seems I’m beginning to learn to be present. Yes! To stay even when things go a bit nasty inside (and outside), when tears fall (hopefully there’s tissues nearby), when fear tells me to slightly open my eyes, when memory shakes me. To stay no matter what. To “stand by me”, like the song says, or probably “to sit with me”.

In preparation for the Chakra Journey Series at Imagine Yoga Studio this spring (I learned with Gary Kraftsow that the correct transliteration is cakra, and the ‘c-h’ is pronounced as in “Chuck”, not as in “shine”!) I am going through very systematic work, root to crown. This is a very personal journey, and yes, transformative, precious to me. I am thrilled to share this at Imagine, where the community is so receptive and dedicated.

Today is the Equinox.

Daphnes are sharing their unique, intense, delicious scent, daffodils sprinkle here and there fresh with color. Today some white magnolias bloomed in the patio, and the plum tree in the back yard is packed with flowers.

I want to be part of this vibrant Nature, root to crown, day through night. I want to discover the scent, the taste, the colors of life, the textures of life. I want to look deep inside, to stay no matter what.

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