THE TREE POSTURE
The Tree Posture (Vrikshasana)
From your Doing a 360 Healing Meditation Methods site: Welcome to an introduction to a basic, but important asana (yoga pose) called the tree posture. The tree pose has health benefits of hatha yoga which you may read about in one of my articles I've downloaded for you below on this page. If you're already into hatha yoga, great -- may you be continually inspired in your practice.
The health benefits of hatha yoga are many...we all know that today. My interest is to use yoga as a portal to the Soul, to allow Soul to consciously feel Itself within the body It has chosen for this lifetime. Yoga has always and all ways been one of the powerful healing meditation methods to accomplish this. As the veil thins...we are -- individually and collectively -- "being" in the present moment, realizing our true nature, which is divine.
As you browse through this material and other pages in my 360 meditation methods site, know that you've been guided here by your Soul. If you are into hatha yoga only for the seeming "physical" aspects of the poses, or the health benefits of hatha yoga, that is wonderful, too. Yoga has so much to offer everyone -- all are included in 360 Yoga. Visit again, as I continually update with more articles, photos and pertinent information to help you on your journey to wholeness.
Best with Blessings, Namasté
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An Article on The Tree Posture
Copyright© from Dayspring,
September Issue, 2008, page 4,
The International Ministry of The Alliance of Divine Love.
Doing a 360°
By Rev. Nancy Ash, E-RYT
Sacred Spherical Strategies for Optimal Living
God’s Masterpiece: a magnanimous 360° painting surrounds us as far as the eyes can see, as life is aglow with shades of yellow, orange, red, purple and green. The beauty of the colorful fall landscape reflects the changing of a season as floating leaves bring attention to our precious trees.
In most sacred traditions, and particularly in ancient yogic philosophy, the tree is a powerful metaphor, as in the famous eight limbs of yoga. Roots represent the foundation of yamas and niyamas, Sanskrit words meaning the many restrictions and observances. Respectively, one of the yamas is non-violence; one of the niyamas is honesty. Essentially the yogic aspirant must first be grounded in this understanding and practice accordingly. In contemporary times one might say: “Do the right thing.”
Next is asana, (the poses of yoga, like the tree posture, for an example) which is represented by the trunk of the tree—strong and powerful as our physically dense body the Soul uses during life on the Earth plane.
A metaphor for pranayama (yoga breathing discipline I wrote about recently) is the bark of the tree. Without the bark the tree dies...it needs the vital prana (life force) to thrive. Pratyahara is the branches; Dharana, the leaves. Dhyana, which is the seventh limb and meditative state, is represented by the buds with their promise of fruit: which is enlightenment, Samadhi, a Super-conscious state or union with Source.
This month’s Sacred Spherical Strategy is to contemplate and practice the healing tree posture. This fundamental asana is particularly important as it teaches the essential wisdom of trees: two directions of growth. When we stand in it, we meditate on the sensation of our legs/feet sinking into the ground as roots growing downward to our Mother Earth. Simultaneously we stretch upward to the sky—the way all trees grow. If roots don’t get enough water and nutrients, they wither and the tree will fall. If you are new to yoga practice, use a wall or chair to hold onto so you won’t fall over. Beginners may place one foot (the heel portion) gently on top of the other foot (see photo).
In any case, press the medial side (inside) of the bottom foot firmly down...as you focus on your own roots. Place palms together at your heart center and concentrate while breathing slowly. Feel the upper body rise from your core, or center. Raise your arms as you deepen the experience.
Now: become a tree. That’s right, ‘be’ a beautiful tree that you see in your sphere of life. The benefits: In tree posture we strengthen our lower body bones and muscles, improve balance, and increase flexibility to our upper body like swaying branches in the wind.
Always consult your physician before starting any exercise plan, and find a qualified teacher to help you. Special thanks to longtime yogini, ADL Rev. Naomi Iris Lynn for demonstrating the asana for this column.
Yours in the Greatest Degree of Love, Nancy
Rev. Nancy Ash, E-RYT is an ADL Ministerial Trainer, and long-time practitioner of hatha yoga and Tibetan dzogchen. She writes from the foothills of New Mexico.
What is the 360 Style of Hatha Yoga?
If you're a SENIOR into Hatha Yoga click 103+ year 'young' yogini!
This is one of my simple line drawings based on a tree posture photo taken of me in a studio for a book entitled, Creative Wellness. I was consultant to the author Michelle Lusson (for the Yoga Program). She subsequently asked me to demonstrate the asanas (poses) for illustration in this unique, self-help book, published in 1987 by Warner Books.
Since I enjoy combining my artistic talent with the precious gift of yoga, I've dozens and dozens of line drawings like it, and plan to organize them on a page with definitions. All of this meditation methods web-site writing takes away from personal asana practice on the mat...so, on your next Doing a 360 visit perhaps I'll have more illustrations scanned in, sized and uploaded for you.
If you're really into hatha yoga like me, you know that patience is a virtue, and an important one at that! May all be splendid for you and your family.
More from healing meditation methods on 360 Yoga
Read my article - Hatha Yoga - good overview
Articles on Yoga: Beginning Yoga - Basic Health Benefits of Hatha Yoga
Circle back HOME from tree posture