Balancing effort and surrender in tree pose
For some people, standing balance poses are the hardest yoga poses. We find ourselves fighting gravity, wavering muscles, and even the breeze to stay in the pose. Our ego can get so wrapped up in the process of trying to maintain balance that some of us may have to learn the hard way that desperately fighting to stay upright when we have already lost our balance can end up in a pretty hard fall.
Yet one of the loveliest things about trying to find your balance is that the challenge demands attention. It’s easy for your mind to wander when its presence isn’t required to keep your body in place, but the mental effort required in poses that don’t come easily draws your awareness to the present moment.
What if you could transform your experience in this pose from a place of battle between body and gravity, to a partnership of mindful effort and surrender? If physical balance in tree pose eludes you today, practice observing and accepting how it feels. Listen to any feelings of frustration and actively let go of judgment. Let your pose be a process, rather than a shiny finished product.
If you find stillness in tree, notice where your breath naturally travels. You might imagine inviting the breath in from the ground, through the sole of your foot, and all the way up your spine. Notice how it feels to root through all corners of your standing foot as you reach the crown of your head to the sky.
Wherever you are in tree pose today, be there fully.
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