photo by Erin Clow @Love&Camera
Tip #25 of our #40DaysOfSelfCare adventure is REJUVENATE. A few moments of yoga in the sweet outdoors nurtures the body and mind, hence returning us to our innate nature – a being of vitality, grace, and ease.
As a kid, I’d slip away to our Michigan backyard ravine, hike through a trail of fallen logs and skunk cabbage until I arrived at my Castle Willow Tree. This was the name for my childhood fortress –a grand, old black willow tree on the banks of Old Hickory Creek. I’d sit content and happy in her arms for hours reading a book and eating canned mandarin oranges. Yes, canned, as this was before my Santa Barbara days of Ojai tangerines.
Nowadays I am inclined to tote my yoga mat and a tangerine KeVita drink outside and do a few poses under a Sweet Gum or Eucalyptus tree. I recall my Castle Willow Tree and feel grateful her West Coast kin that grant me shade and make me smile with contentment and happiness.
I love doing yoga under a tree, as trees realign me to the powers of rooting and expanding. My lululemon photo shoot(above picture) was extra special, as we shot in a grove of Eucalyptus trees in Hope Ranch. Trees and yoga nurture my innate nature of vitality, ease, and creativity.
Vitality. Trees are associated with growth, strength, and long life. Yoga’s benefits include growing more flexible and strong in the body, as well as lowering stress, which contributes to a longer life.
Ease. Trees seem to always be in a state of ease. Their limbs surrender and sway in the wind. When the winds of change blow, my tendency is to resist the change. My yoga practice helps me be more adaptable, to sway and play, when my life changes course and I feel uneasy about the unknown.
Creativity. Trees create balance between earth and heaven by rooting into the ground, and then rising upwards through their branches to the infinite sky. Yoga offers the same experience. A consistent yoga practice helps root the physical and mental bodies into the ground of the present moment. From this place, the heart awakens and branches into the infinite space of Purusha – the supreme space of unlimited creative possibility.
Trees are naturally and always doing yoga. No wonder doing yoga (or sitting) at the base of a tree is such a stable, calming, and rejuvenating experience.
Today’s Self-Care Adventure: Venture outside with your yoga mat and favorite snack. Unroll your mat under a tree and do a Warrior I, Warrior II and Tree Balance sequence on each side. In each pose root your legs into the earth, feeling stable and strong in your being. In each pose, open your heart center and expand outwards through your fingertips, feeling a sense of openness, possibility, and magic in your body, mind, and life.