"Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light" - Theodore Roethke
Happy start of Pumpkin Spiced EVERYTHING season!
To start off my weekly to bi-weekly blog posts, this entry is going to be all about Vrkshasana aka Tree pose. Which is one of my absolute favorite balancing postures to do in class! Before we get into the mechanics of tree pose, I have an annoucement for the Okeechobee Yoga Group.
My first ever workshop is scheduled for Saturday, November 4th from 2:00-4:00pm at Studio 13. This workshop is going to for beginners and seasoned students alike! Yoga 101 was a three part series I did back in July/August and I've had a lot of positive feedback. I decided that instead of breaking it up into classes, I should do a workshop! I'm hoping this will be the first of many workshops, especially ones on the groundwork of Yoga. The cost is $15 per person and anyone seven years of age and older are invited to attend. I'm wanting to create a space where we can all come together and ask questions about certain poses, breathing exercises, etc. We will go over common Yoga postures along with their modifications, sun salutations, background on what Yoga is, and how to practice Yoga off your mat! The event page is on my Facebook as well as in the group! If you're interested in attending, please email me TaylorEnglishYoga@gmail.com!
This week during our classes we focused on re-balancing our inner scales while reflecting on the year so far as well as the remaining months. The energy in class was so amazing and I cannot thank you all for coming out!
2017 has flown by and I am so excited for what 2018 has to offer. This year has been brutal and rewarding. It has taught me a lot about myself and what I can and can't handle. I think it's important to take a look back and reevaluate how things are going or how they went. We cannot change our pasts but we can learn from it for future endeavors. Taking a moment, now, to reflect is crucial in moving forward freely.
Balancing postures for me are so humbling. They teach me that balancing is not easy, nor should it be. A common cue I use in class is that every side is different, and every day is different; which is so true! We cannot expect every single day to be the same. Sure, things can become monotonous but we can choose to change the course if ourselves call for it. Tree pose is something that everyone can access no matter your physical capability. Below I will describe how to get into this pose, some tips/tricks for bringing it to your practice as well as benefits of the posture.
Come to Tadasana or Mountain Pose with both feet pointing forward. Use a chair in front of you or the wall beside/behind you if need be.
Find something in front of you that isn't moving, focusing your attention on that object or focal point. Breathe deeply here feeling the connection between your gaze, body and breath.
Begin to transfer the weight into your left foot as you turn your right knee out bringing the heel of your right foot to the inside of your left leg. Keep your right toes on the ground as the knee begins to open.
Press down into your standing leg and imagine you have 10' roots coming from the bottom of your foot. Be mindful of hyper-extending the knee.
If you're feeling out of balance here, place your hand on the chair in front of you or on the wall for stability. Just breathe here for 3-10 breaths.
If you feel comfortable moving forward, you can bring the right foot onto the inside of the left calf, or above the knee on the inner thigh. Once the foot is in a place that serves you, press your right foot into your standing leg and your standing leg into your foot.
If the hands are free, bring them into prayer in front of your heart and breathe here for as long as you'd like.
For an added challenge, take the hands overhead in prayer or open the palms.
Once you're ready to come out of the pose, bring the hands back down into prayer and the right foot back to earth.
Repeat on the other side and notice differences from your right and left.
Tree pose is perfect for working on balance, building concentration, increasing stability in the ankles and feet, reduces stress, and increases overall body strength. Using the imagery of an actual tree with huge branches and roots will help you feel stable and strong. Imagine your legs are the roots, reaching for the nutritious soil as your upper body reaches for the sun. If the external rotation of the bent knee is too much, just work on balancing on one leg with the support of a wall or chair.
Try it out and see what you think! Is it challenging for you? Have you tried different hand positions such as a mudra or leaning tree? Does the root imagery help you stay centered and grounded during the posture? Maybe try closing your eyes for an extra challenge to your balance!
Comment below or send me a message! As always, any and all feedback is welcomed!
Also, the photos you've seen on my gallery, Facebook and Instagram are done by the amazing Jessica Christian aka @Lovesquish on Instagram. If you need ANY type of photography work done I highly suggest her. She has reasonable prices and travels all over South Florida (and even North Florida and beyond if need be).