I rolled into my yoga class last week, placed my mat in my usual spot and prepared for my normal Thursday night level 1-2 Anusara practice. My yoga teacher started the class by talking about a studio she has practiced in for many years-and then drew our attention to the particular studio in which we sat which had just turned 4 years old. She talked of foundations-how this particular floor and these particular walls have held us all as students-in our successes, our failures (if there is such a thing as failure in yoga) and all of the emotions and thoughts that run through us as we fold over into downward dog or kick up into headstand. I paid special attention to my bones during that class-their alignment or lack thereof, strength, and hugging the muscles into the bones as well.
And of course, being the animist, ancestor venerating, root magic-making, self-inquiry sorceress that I am I started thinking about my own foundations-my ancestors-who come from all over the place-Cherokee First People, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Germany, Spain, and the list goes on. I thought about all of the religions and spiritual traditions that have poured out through the ages into the pool of my heart-indigenous European pre-Christian traditions of so many stripes, indigenous Cherokee and Choctaw pre-Christian traditions and knowing, Judaism, Catholicism, and Baptist. The animals, plants, deities, and spiritual allies that have been with my lineage for centuries and the ones that have made themselves known to me in this time and this life. For me-these people, their traditions, devotions, and knowledge are the foundation upon which I stand. I thought of my own mother who taught me how to read tarot and runes when I was barely three-of my first magic spell performed with great success when I was four and a half, my father who taught me the power of prosperity, how to run a business and how to make a difference, of my dearly departed Cherokee grandfather who taught me about crystals, red clay, and root medicine and my grandmother who still lives and to whom I owe my intimacy with the King James Bible-on all of their shoulders I stand and I bow in honor.
My immediate family-husband and son and the land upon which we live in our tiny San Antonio historic neighborhood are my walls-within the confines of my family and my beloved my work has stretched and curled deep into the ground-anchoring itself in the sweet. dark earth. My daily ritual practice and devotions are also part of the walls-my alliances with my spiritual allies-the offerings made and promises kept-they all feed into this foundation. And of course, my clients-those that I serve, that I work with, who trust and share their most intimate stories with me-they are my foundation too.