Tree pose for a windy day

I must confess to something I really don’t like about our home in Montana: wind, like I’ve never experienced wind before. Wind that has torn windows off their frames, that howls like a forlorn animal all night long, that has broken my nose in an unfortunate incident with our trash can (it blew the lid into my face). I’ve been trying to read up on my doshas, pitta/vata, because I am convinced it is something about my vata side that gets so agitated by wind. Anyhow, this windy day is a great opportunity for a grounding one-pose wonder – vrksasana, tree pose. Trees blow and sway in the wind, but stay rooted at the same time; a reminder to be strong yet flexible.

Tree pose is just what we need in times of transition, like during a change in season (that would be now). Balance poses require that you really be in the moment – if you are not completely mindful you will fall. Having a crazy day? Take a time out for tree pose. It will stop your mind from racing, soothe your nervous system and ground you in the present.

The How-to:

  • Stand in mountain pose and gaze softly at a fixed point in front of you on the floor, about 4 or 5 feet away.
  • Shift your weight to the left foot and bend your right knee. Reach down with your right hand and grab your right ankle.
  • Draw your right foot up and place the sole as high up on the inner left thigh as possible (NOT on the knee joint! big no-no!); press the right heel into the thigh, toes pointing toward the floor. Firmly press your right foot into the inner thigh, and the thigh back into your foot, working to equalize the pressure.
  • Press your hands together at your heart center. Maintain your drishti (gazing point). If you fall out of the pose at any point, ’cause trees fall sometimes, slowly and deliberately go through the process again.
  • Leave your hands at heart center, or grow your tree by reaching them up overhead.
  • Stay in the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Return to mountain pose and repeat for the same length of time on the other side.

I’m actually surprised I haven’t featured this one-pose wonder yet. Any requests for the next one?