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Boby - Breath - Mind

Yoga Asana

Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)

Posted on - Mon Feb 2017       Yoga Asana / by Anitha

Yoga Baratha

Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)

‘Vriksha’ means tree and ‘Asana’ is the pose. This posture replicates the graceful, steady stance of a tree.

The Mythology behind Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)

This abridged story comes from the epic Ramayana. It is believed that when the demon King Ravana kidnapped Queen Sita and brought her to Lanka, he naturally assumed that she would be drawn to him and his wealth. Ravana proposed to make her his chief wife and give her all the luxuries. But she refused everything. She even refused to spend a night inside the beautiful palace. Instead she chose to live under the Ashoka trees. Sita sat with her back against the Ashoka tree and she breathed slowly and waited. With one-pointed focus she concentrated on Rama. Every thought, every breath, every beat of her heart said “Rama...find me. Rama. Rama.” She sent her love and longing into the trees, and imagined their leaves broadcasting Rama's name to the atmosphere.

Trees tell us to have faith in ourselves. Patiently and silently the Ashoka trees spoke to Sita: “Stay still, little sister. Be calm and steady, like us. This captivity is not forever. Stay still, and remember Rama.”

Sita, abducted and held captive, draws strength and comfort from nature. Contact with the earth helps her focus on Rama. The story continues……

Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)

Nature is not just something on the outside in our environment, but a part of our very being. We are nature – not separate from it. Trees are one of the Earth's oldest life forms; silent witnesses to human evolution and the passing of time. They are Mother Nature's visible symbol of power and grace. The oxygen that we breathe is a symbiotic relationship between humans and trees in which we both provide the necessary element for one another to live and thrive.

Yoga takes us close to our true nature. Yoga with its techniques helps us to harmonize with nature. Peace is our very nature and yoga leads us to inner peace. The more harmonized we are with nature, the more we can enjoy good health and longevity.

Similarities between humans and trees

  • Trees and humans are unique
  • Trees and humans breathe and drink water
  • Trees follow the rules of nature but humans…
    • are discontent with their lot in life
    • are jealous of others
    • complain about the position they’re in
    • harm or injure others
    • whine about their neighbours
    • worry about not being good enough
    • worry about not having enough

Reflection: Learnings from Trees

Trees fight against the external dangers and enemies throughout their lives; yet they show a strengthening essence to live, they grow older and glow riper, they remain green at heart, stunning in the peace and wise in silence.

It takes a lot to shake a tree. Try sitting with your back to a tree and feel it breathe with you. Through your back, sense the tree's profound calm.

Trees enjoy every moment of life, the sunshine, silver drops of rain, the gentle breeze, the wind….. Their happiness is everlasting and the songs of life never ending.

Trees love us selflessly. It not only offers peaceful rest but also sets everything for our delightful state of mind. It does not judge or choose its guests who take refuge under it.

The mightiest trees grow up from a humble beginning. They don’t feel intimidated; they hold their ground and stand tall and strong.

Technique for Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)

  • Begin in Ta¯d?a¯sana. Look straight ahead focusing on an unmoving point. 
  • Shift the entire body weight onto the left foot. Get well grounded.
  • Bend at right knee. Bring the right foot up onto the left thigh trying to place the right heel against the leg groin and square the hips.
  • Knee should be stretched out to the side and toes pointed downwards.
  • Lift the spine well.
  • Bring hands into Namaska¯ramudra¯. Once stable, inhale and stretch the arms up. Open the sides well, pull the abdomen in? and tighten the buttocks.
  • Stay in position for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Release hands down. With hand support, release the right leg.
  • Repeat on the other side.

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