The strong yogi in the above picture is my friend TJ and this picture was taken by her husband Pete during their honeymoon in Europe. Imagine what the trees in the picture have experienced over the many years they have been standing there with their roots intertwined - storms, sunshine, wind, rain, snow, being shaped and sculpted by human hands and ideas. They just keep on standing through it all - rooted and solid but with just enough flexibility and fluidity to take all the weather that is thrown their way. We can learn a lot from these trees....
I love this pose because it is so simple and familiar yet powerful. The sanskrit name for this standing balancing pose is Vrikshasana - Vriksha meaning tree and Asana meaning pose. In the Moksha level 1 and 2 series' tree pose is practiced close to the beginning as an opportunity to dial in focus and concentration. A still and steady gaze helps to still the fluctuations of the mind and improve the ability to balance on one foot. While a certain amount of stillness is sought there is never absolute stillness as there is the movement of our breath and the constant micro movements of our standing foot to keep us upright. Trees are living representations of being solid yet fluid, individuals part of a supportive community, and a testament to growth that can be achieved by simply standing there. The next time you are in tree pose imagine your roots growing down and intertwining with what is below you, bring awareness to the subtle shifts and movements of your body and find that solid yet fluid place to rest and breathe.
Sarah-Jane loves learning, listening, sharing and doing yoga!