“Advice from a Tree: Stand tall and proud. Go out on a limb. Remember your roots. Drink plenty of water. Be content with your natural beauty. Enjoy the view.” Ilan Shamir
Strong, steady, calm, focused… Vrksasana (Tree pose (Picture) embodies many of the qualities we seek to cultivate in yoga. It’s a wonderful pose for strengthening the legs and feet, opening the hips and creating a sense of lightness and flexibility in the upper body. Like all the balancing asanas it requires focus and commitment, with little room left for the ego or busy thoughts. A calmer, quieter state of mind tends to result.
Real trees, of course, have been headline news recently for all the wrong reasons, as fires in the Amazon and Borneo, species extinction in Europe and ongoing clearing for industry and agriculture escalates the climate and ecological crises we all face.
Whilst practising Tree pose is not going to slow down climate change, it is a good place to start for any sufferers of eco-anxiety* or any type of stress or anger, emotions which often flare up as the seasons change and work gets busy. Practising strengthening, grounding poses helps us to feel more stable, centred and better resourced to face the challenges we individually and collectively face.
So we will be practising a fair few Tree poses in class over the next few weeks!
In other news, it was lovely to welcome both familiar and new faces to the mini retreat in September for a day of energising and restorative yoga, yummy food and beautiful scenery. The next mini retreat will be on Saturday 25 April in Henley on Thames. As always, we will enjoy a dynamic morning yoga and Qigong session, a delicious vegetarian lunch, a walk, and an afternoon yin/restorative session. The day costs £74 and is available to book now – please contact me for place!
In the meantime I look forward to see you for some strength building, anger channelling – and restful – classes soon!
*feeling overwhelmed by the climate and environmental crises