Lessons are hidden everywhere, just waiting to be found. I consider myself a student of nature, the universe, yoga, and my own body. I’m always searching for life’s hidden lessons. Lately, I’ve discovered an important lesson from tadasana, or mountain pose: to make sure to root down first and to grow only from this rooted place. This is a cue many yoga teachers give – “root to rise.” And like many lessons learned through yoga, it packs a lot of punch off the mat, too.

I have the tendency to jump ahead of myself, trying to skip steps on my race for the clouds – wanting my own private therapy practice, the ability to teach yoga teachers, a successful blog that helps people, and wanting it all NOW. In my mad dash to the summit, I sometimes forget the importance of starting from the ground up.

We humans are like mountains, too. We must have a strong base from which to launch ourselves. The very base of the mountain must be the strongest thing and gives rise to all else. The base is what makes the pinnacle possible. If we do not start from a grounded place, the winds and storms of life can topple us, uproot us, or make us realize we have no idea who we are or what we stand for.

Do you know that, like trees, mountains have roots? Mountains can stand tall because they have much larger roots, made of minerals, below. The strong roots each of us grow are our own little secret. No one else can see or feel them but us, yet they are there, binding us to our earthly home and nourishing us enough to grow up, up, up towards all that is above, and all there is to yearn for. They allow us to stand firm as we stretch and reach for all that is waiting for us. So make sure to root to rise, not just in yoga, but in all areas of life.

I write these words as much for myself as for others. This is a lesson I write to remind myself to live.