I just spent an incredible week doing yoga and ecology training at Loyola Marymount University. I learned that yoga was originally a means of experiencing union with nature and that there are new ways to bring the environment back into my teaching. The week ended with a Green Yoga Conference put together by the Green Yoga Association, a community I recently joined. This inspired me to share a yoga posture that connects us to the Earth: Tree Pose. It emphasizes our connection with the Earth, plus it works on balance, concentration, and quad strength.
To begin, stand on your right foot and get very grounded. Spread your toes, like you are planting roots, into the Earth. Get strong in your right leg, like the trunk of the tree, and bend your left knee out to the side. You may place the bottom of your left foot either to the inside of the right ankle, the knee or the top of the right thigh. Lift your belly in and up to create a stable trunk of the tree and once you feel balanced lift your arms up until, ultimately, the palms touch above your head, creating the branches and leaves of the tree. Dont be concerned if you wobble a little bit— trees sway in the wind, after all! Hold for 5–15 breaths, then repeat on the other side.