For the last twenty plus years, I have had the pleasure of viewing a silver maple tree out my kitchen window. I live in the midwest and have seen the splendor of this tree in every season. I’ve watched it grow from an adolescent, to the tall strong beauty that stands in my yard today. I love seeing its graceful branches gently moving and bending in the breeze, its roots planted firm in the earth. I am always reminded of this beautiful tree when teaching or practicing tree pose (Vrksasana) in yoga
My silver oak
I have been a yoga instructor for 16 years, and a student of yoga for 20. Tree pose is one of the first balance postures we learn in yoga, and one of the most powerful and sometimes challenging postures. I personally love the strength I feel while standing tall in this posture. Physically, tree pose stretches the inner thighs, groin, and shoulders. It strengthens the calves, thighs, core, and feet. Mental focus is essential in tree pose, and while it relaxes the central nervous system, it brings balance to the body, opening oneself to mind/body awareness. Tree pose encourages oneness and I feel the true nature of this posture is a subtle balance in the mind, body, and spirit. When you practice visualize the strength of your roots traveling from your body, down through your feet, and into the ground. You may sway as trees do in the wind, but if you remain focused and connected to your breath, you will find yourself anchored to the ground through your strong system of roots. I love that tree pose allows you the freedom to shift and move to find your stability with the knowledge that your strong foundation is supporting you and keeping you secure. As you breathe and stand tall in tree, you find and are content with your own progress in this posture, finding acceptance in your true self.
Nicole demonstrating tree pose
For more information on Tree Pose, check out this link. http://www.yogabasics.com/asana/tree/