Friday, November 11, 2011

I am a Tree

When I was 14-years-old, my mother took me into her yoga studio and showed me how to do tree pose (Vriksha-asana). Ever since, my understanding of the pose changes and grows every year - much like a tree.

My first idea of tree pose was that it was one of the easiest positions in yoga. Standing on one leg with my arms in the air? Sure, no biggie.

But lately, I've realized that tree pose is in fact one of the most difficult positions there is, because it challenges us to be a tree: extending our bodies up toward the sky as high as we can yet keeping our feet firmly on the floor- feeling both light as a feather and rooted into the ground simultaneously. Tree pose asks you to channel the energy of a tree - the spirit, the strength and sturdiness of it's bark and roots and the carefree, fragile beauty of it's leaves.

When I am in tree pose, I feel strong, centered - like no matter what comes my way, I am so sturdy that nothing will chop me down. But it also reminds me that I am vulnerable to my environment.

Starting now, my goal is to be a tree even when I'm off my mat. Because a tree stands through the wind, the rain, the storms that fall down hard on it's branches and leaves, and yet, when the storm is over, the tree remains. Maybe a branch or two is broken, and maybe some leaves have fallen to the ground, but it is alive and it's still just as beautiful as it was before.

This weekend, spend a little time in tree pose and see what you find.

Other than staying fit, why do you exercise? What type of physical activity causes you to be introspective?

Enjoy the weekend!

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