be like a tree.
tree falls at the end of the Equanimity series in the Journey into Power sequence…the series is dedicated to balancing poses where we practice coming to center, dropping our reactions and finding our natural state of balance.
maybe right about now you’re thinking “yeah, right…”natural” state of balance…whatever.” you’re not alone…
when i first started yoga, tree was my most difficult pose..,standing still, let alone standing still on one foot, was like trying to speak a foreign language…plus, i was completely attached to having the “best” tree in the class and doing it “perfect”. i kept thinking about how “bad” i was doing and just generally got frustrated.
none of those things actually helps balance (or equanimity)…in fact, the thing that helps our balance the least is thinking about balance. in exactly that same way that we can’t force ourselves to have an equanimous mind, true balance can’t be forced either.
another thing that really screws with our balance is trying too hard…
good rules of thumb:
– if your hips are tilted way off to one side, you’re probably trying too hard.
– if you feel more like a statue of a tree than a tree, you’re trying too hard.
– if you’re basically wrestling your leg to the top of your thigh, you’re trying too hard.
– if your foot won’t stay attached to your thigh, you’re trying too hard.
– if your breath sounds like you’re a chain smoker who just tried to run a marathon, you’re trying too hard.
– if you had no idea you were supposed to be able to breathe in tree pose, you’re trying too hard.
ok, so what to do?
don’t sweat about where your foot gets to on your standing leg…just ground your standing foot, lift your other foot to a comfortable but challenging spot, engage your core body, find your breath and be still. feel the stillness and see what happens. if you fall, just start over.
basically, tree can be your most natural, centered, balanced pose and bring you into a really cool state of calm and peace…or it can be the absolute opposite…every time you get on your mat, you get to choose.