About 2 years ago, I set an intention for myself and that intention was to show up and take up space ! For as long as I can remember, I have “moved myself to the back of the line” hiding, playing small, stifling my expression from fear of being judged , not allowing myself to fully be in my joy and the list goes on. I knew that in order to take up space it would require me to first see and acknowledge myself, grounding myself in my inherent worth and truly paying attention to what nourishes my soul at its depths; building my courage day by day to show up in ways that I never had before and then - BOOM! An email from Manduka.
I had the beautiful opportunity to take a trip down to Joshua Tree in order to be a part of their 'unearth the vibrations' product launch ! When I first received the email, those untruths tried their best to be as loud as possible, working hard to convince me that I was not worthy of occupying that space, I wanted to run to the back of the line. Even though those old voices were loud, the things that nourish and ground me were even louder - I knew I just had to show up and the rest would take care of itself! Realizing that showing up and taking up space isn't about getting rid of the fear but instead doing it even with the fear and that alone helps to push your courage forward.
The amazing thing about being on this set was the safety I felt throughout my entire body, and even though the nerves were there, my body knew it was safe to express. We all got a chance to represent a different gemstone, and mine happened to be “Ruby”. Now, I really don't believe things are coincidental, and as much as I wanted to run and hide, or ask to be switched to a different stone that had a more muted color etc etc I KNEW this was exactly what I needed. The Ruby stone - a deep, powerful, vibrant and passionate color red representing grounding, and nourishment and to me truly feeling rooted in your body and yourself. It's funny because while i've always thought of myself as a grounded person who loves to nourish and be nourished, I would have separated those spaces from the outward expressions of vibrance and passion, as I don't think I ever truly saw myself in that way or more so allowed myself the room to live in those spaces. I would have put them somewhere else, all the while within this one incredible stone, here they all are.
This idea really challenged me. It challenged what I thought I knew to be true about myself and required me to show up in a different way, it required me to show up as my full self and not hold back. It encouraged me to love on and connect to all that I am. Tapping into this element and all that it represents called me forward; the beautiful complex properties that don't overshadow each other, but instead enhance one another was extremely inspiring. Allowing myself to occupy this space fully, became exciting, I began to get really curious about what else there was within me that I hadn't yet tapped into. The courage that was displayed by not only myself but everyone there was palpable , you could feel each person's spirit shining, making more and more room for the next person to shine as well!
When I look at the Ruby, it lights a fire within me, it stirs up this deep passion for all things connection and an earnest, rooted and stable love. It reminds me of all of the challenges that I have overcome and the way in which I continue to show up for myself each and every day . The Ruby reflects back to us the way we are nourishing ourselves and brings out a level of honesty, vulnerability and courage which I believe are necessary touchpoints for any level of growth. The energy felt from this gorgeous stone was not only grounding but filled with an unexplainable vitality, which was particularly helpful on the last day of the shoot when everyone was physically and mentally exhausted. I feel such a deep connection with this specific property; as someone who has battled with chronic pain and autoimmunity for over 15 years now and often struggles with a level of physical and emotional exhaustion that is difficult to comprehend not only by others, but at times within myself as well. I was reminded of just how courageous I am, just how passionate I am about sharing my story and creating a safe space for others to share theirs, I was reminded of just how important it is to not only help others nourish themselves but to allow others to nourish me as well. I was reminded of the vitality and vibrancy that is me, and is reflected in and through my peers right back to me, allowing me to show up on and off of my mat, fully.
When I think of the asanas that feel aligned with the properties of the Ruby, it reminds me of a grounded openness. Postures that require a subtle strength, heart openers that require trust and room. I got to move through a series of poses that really challenged my mind and body - open twists, backbends such as camel and wild thing and even some balancing poses such as Ardha Chandrasana or half moon (one of my favorites to play with) as well as dancer pose - a grounded strength that takes up space ! When it comes to your practice, especially in connection with the earth and all of its natural gifts for us, there really are no limits. I would encourage you to step on your mat, ask your body what it is seeking to feel, trust that it is for you, take the deepest breath you have taken and begin moving your body by simply listening to its unique calls. That is all you need, you and your breath and the rest will take care of itself!
Being asked to represent this gemstone and show up in my practice this way has been such an honor and has given me the confidence to begin walking to the front of the line in life.
Life always has a way of placing you in the exact position that you need to be in , in order for you to experience the lessons that are just for you! Just be willing to show up, receive and take up your space!
PRACTICE WITH TAYLOR:
Join me for this full body grounding flow - here to help you open the heart & release any tension built & stored in the hips! We will prepare the body to safely build towards our peak pose of 'wild thing' learning how to align & strengthen the body for this beautiful and energizing backend! I hope you leave your mat feeling fully nourished.Follow Taylor