Core. Core. Everyone talks about the core.

479752_555588441120432_1696205059_nTummy in. Belly button to spine. Engage the core.

I say it over and over again while instructing. I hear it over and over again while practicing. It’s so important. Yes, it’s true. Everything begins in the middle, at the core, with strength and balance and a little heat.

Heat brings things to life.

The light and warmth of the sun in the springtime helps the winter frost thaw and trees and flowers grow. The warmth of the summer sun brings people out of their homes to play. A warm body is more pliable, supple, more giving to movements and stretches and is less likely to injure.

As I dress for the grocery store, I think of my core. Yes, the grocery store… a very mundane chore, sure, but one that I enjoy at times, especially when I have time to meander. And today I have time to meander through Whole Foods! The marketing genius of a store that draws you in with all 5 senses until you forget you’ve been there for hours. From the sight of the orchids upon your entrance to the smell of fresh herbs and desserts just beckoning to take space in your basket. But in all this excitement to roam, I remember my Raynaud’s. It’s happened before, it can happen again… my fingers going numb and turning white during my shopping pleasure. And I KNOW I will want to wonder throughout the store without direction or purpose, taking in all the sights and delicious scents without any sense of time. All the meanwhile, my core is cooling. So I dress thinking, “Core. Dress in layers. Keep your core warm to keep blood flowing to your extremities.” Words ringing loud and clear from my rheumatologist.

How we go through the day, with or without direction, is our choice. Whether you meander for a while or go exactly where you intend, start with the core. Find stability right where you are. Notice your strength in the center of your body, giving platform for movements. Feel the warmth you create and radiate from your center. Your core, your gut, your second brain.

Om shanti, friends.

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