Vrksasana: Partner Yoga with a Tree
Rosane Simas becomes present and grounded; she breathes, preparing for Tree Pose. Graham Fowler
First, select a tree to partner with. Then, take off your shoes and get centered.
1 Stand tallSpread toes and mentally send your “roots” down your left leg, into the earth.
2 Bend your right kneeand press the sole of your right foot into your left leg. Avoid the left knee joint.
3 Slightly deepen your tailbonepull in your low belly, and draw the bent knee back to open the inner thigh/groin area. Keep the pelvis facing forward.
4 Imagine that your legs and hips are your root systemEverything up to the top of your pelvis is underground. Gaze at the tree.
5 It’s okay to swayTrees sway. But if balance is a problem, keep your hands on your hips. Or stand sideways to the tree with your bent knee just touching the tree’s trunk for stability. Or lightly touch the tree as needed.
6 Hold your hands in prayer position at the chestor extend your arms up and feel yourself, like the tree, growing in all directions. Breathe deeply.
7 Like the tree, imagine you can suck water up through your rootsto bring earth nutrients into every part of you. And draw the energy of the sun down through your branches. Circulate earth and sky energy with your breath.
8. Stand in Mountain PoseFeel how grounded and present you are. Enjoy your connection with the tree. The tree breathes in your exhaled carbon dioxide. It breathes out oxygen for you to breathe.
9 Now do Tree Pose on the other side
10 Stand in Mountain Poseand bring your hands to the heart in Namaste and send blessings and gratitude to the tree.
Self-reflection: Bring plenty of water, and maybe a journal to record any insights. But don’t miss out on what’s around you by turning it into a writing exercise. Stay present.
As you went on your pilgrimage, to what extent were you able to leave the busy world behind? The more you visit the woods in this manner, the deeper the connection you will feel, and the more you will stabilize the results.
Having reentered your daily routine, what effects of your pilgrimage carried over into your life? Consider your relationships with others, your work, your self. What shifted for you? If you noticed something, how long did it last?
Any deepening of your bond with Mother Earth?
Reconnecting with nature in this way is very powerful and healing. It is just one facet of our personal sadhana, a coherent and progressive set of earth, body, soul, and community-centered yoga practices, aimed at restoring wholeness on every level.
“Vasudaiva Kutumbhakam. The world is my family.” Maha Upanishad