For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone.
They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche.
In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree…
Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.”
“The tree of wisdom has fibres of forebearance, deep roots of steadfastness, flowers of virtue and branches of awareness”- Buddhist Proverb
When practicing Vrkasana (vrksa=tree; asana=pose) balancing can be very difficult at first, so take it easy, try to relax. Instead of trying to achieve a state of balance, focus rather on the act of balancing. You’ll never be still and steady; you make countless tiny adjustments to maintain the pose. Just as a tree reacts to the seasons, light and rain, so to are you always responding to the subtle changes within your body, redefining and balancing with every breath you take.
Stare a point on the floor or wall directly in front of you to focus the mind and concentrate on your breathing. Stand with your feet slightly apart and anchor through your feet. Spread out the toes, making contact between the earth and every toe, the ball of your foot, your heel. Shift your weight slightly to your right leg. Bend your left leg, toe on the floor along right instep, open knee and point it to the left. Once you are balanced, move the foot onto your calf or onto the inside of your right thigh (use your hand to place your left foot, if necessary). Continue reading