I am not a yoga expert by any means, but I am a yoga fan. I love yoga for how it makes me feel and what it makes me think. I should practice more. I am bad about letting life get in the way. Why do we do that?
Tree pose is a basic yoga pose that is used to promote balance and centering. This pose is not for the meek. It is a challenging pose both for the physical and mental requirements and for what it represents. The pose requires you to put your weight onto one leg so that you can raise and rest your other leg on that stable leg. The higher you can get the raised leg, the more accomplished you are, I suppose. In addition to raising your leg, you position your hands at your side, together at your heart center, or raise them high above your head to the sky. This pose links back to the idea of roots and wings planting yourself into the earth and raising yourself up as much as you are able on any particular day. Just as in life, some days this pose is easier than others.
I am drawn to trees. Trees in my yard, trees in parks, trees along the road, pictures of trees, cards with trees on them, you get the idea. The more I think about it, the more I believe that I like the way trees look, but also like what they make me think. I strive to find a balance every day. The idea of finding balance between being grounded and stretching oneself, between work and family, between being productive and relaxation, between perfection and just getting a task completed, as well as between eating right and indulging every now and again. It is important to not be so rigid that you are not able to respond to life around you or give yourself what you need on any particular day. A tree that bends does not break.
I have a group of friends that have been a support group to me (and help me to find balance) for more years than I can count. One friend bought all of us a “365 Days of Yoga” book for Christmas a year or so ago. The book included thought provoking writings for, you guessed it, each day of the year. With the gift came the the stipulation that we would read it at the same time and then get together for dinner one time per month to “discuss”. At our very first discussion, we talked about tree pose. It must have been one of the readings. I explained my connection to this pose and balance in my life. It was decided right then that our get togethers would be called “Balance Meetings” to keep that as a priority.
We used those meetings to help us keep balance in the busyness of life and our friendships. We managed to have a Balance Meeting one time per month for the entire year. We saw each other for many other occasions, but also held to having these get togethers. Now, let me explain something. We met each month, but did not always get to the book discussion. This is a part of life’s balancing act. One of us or another would have a greater need that we needed do discuss. That took priority. Not ones to waste a reason to get together, we pulled the book back out and are still getting together one time per month to chat about the book, but more importantly, to help each other find a bit of balance and the ability to bend rather than break