A long time ago, early in the morning, even before breakfast the young yoga students would go to see the biggest tree in town. They would share with the tree what they needed so that they could be the best they could be; the ability to stay calm and centered. By visiting the tree, people learned to be grounded, let go of their cares, worries and secrets, leaving all of their issues behind at the beginning of the day.
The tree would help and provide them with what they needed – fruit, shade, wood for their homes, a place for animals to sleep and kids to play. And they learned a lot from watching the tree. They noticed that:
- Trees breathe, taking in carbon dioxide + water + sunlight and then releasing oxygen.
- Trees get nourishment from rain and nutrient rich soil.
- Trees grow up towards the sunlight.
- Trees are steady, yet flexible and can sway with the wind and not fall over.
Even if things got tough for the tree like, too many birds visiting at one time or, a stormy day with a lot of wind and rain – the yogis saw that no matter which way the wind blew, the tree was balanced and had a strong foundation.
When we stand in Vera the Tree Pose, we are using these wise lessons. We are rooting down so we can grow, creating a safe place and a stable, aligned foundation. This allows us to let go and tap into our authentic selves, acknowledging our challenges but creating a safe space to not let them overwhelm us. Then we can breathe, move and be happier and healthier.
Can you be a Tree with me? Here is how:
- Plant your feet firmly on the ground. Feel yourself rooting down deep into the earth getting nourishment from the soil. Feel your legs becoming as sturdy as a tree trunk. Do you feel steady and flexible?
- Make sure your chest is lifted high to soak up the rays of the sun.
- Try to lift one leg up off the ground and place that foot on the side of your standing leg. Great balancing!
- Begin to feel your upper body becoming the branches of the tree. Reach your arms out wide like branches. Wiggle your fingers like leaves in the tree. Try to wave your arms without falling over.
- Breathe in and out through your nose so you can feel your body blossoming.
Breathe. Stretch. Play. Make NAMASTE a part of every day!