yoga pose of the week: tree

Happy Monday, everyone!

Tomorrow marks day one of my yoga instructor course, and I literally can’t wait! I’m bursting! Since I’m going to be working tomorrow, then yoga-ing until the wee hours, I thought we’d do this week’s yoga pose a little early.

This week’s pose is tree (or vrksasana). It looks a little something like this:

Tree works your thighs, knees, ankles, and spine. It also supposedly stretches your chest and shoulders, though I’m not sure I’ve ever paid attention to that aspect of the pose. As far as postures in the hatha series goes, this is a fairly “easy” one… except when it’s not.

Tree and I usually get along. In most classes, it’s a welcome break from the more rigorous postures and vinyasas. I just get to stand there, pin straight, and catch my breath. However, on the days I least expect it, tree can be quite a pain in the behind (not literally; it doesn’t work those muscles). The main goal of tree is balance, and sometimes that just isn’t happening. Sometimes you feel like a tree in a hurricane, swaying every which way until you fall right out. This is extremely frustrating, and usually comes when you stop focusing on yourself and start looking at your neighbours – a cardinal mistake in yoga!

But even despite the occasional hurricane, I love tree pose and here’s why, written oh-so eloquently by the lovely Lindsay of Kiss Me, I’m Vegan:

I love trees.

I love how tall they try to grow.

I love how strong they are.

How straight they stand.

I love how their branches reach out like fingers spreading into the world.

I love how, despite a storm, or a hurricane, or a tornado, or a bout of lightening destroying and splitting one of their branches, they still remain rooted, they still stand up straight, they still spread their branched fingers.

I love the ebb and flow of trees – how in the cold of winter, they shed their old “skin” of leaves and flowers and bare themselves so nakedly and vulnerably in the winter air for all the world to see. How their branches grow and bud into fully bloomed arms of flowers and leaves come summertime. How they allow their leaves to evolve into bright oranges, reds, browns, and yellows come autumn, opening themselves to experience another side of life, before going naked again…

I love their persistence, their unyielding strength, their expansive growth, their comforting shade.

Their peace.

Their stillness.” (Read more)

That’s all for today… thanks for stopping by!

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