Practicing Tree Pose (Today’s Simple Pleasure)

I struggle at times in practicing yoga in that I want to be respectful of its cultural origins and not appropriate it as a form of exercise devoid of its spiritual meaning. What I decided to do in relation to my simple pleasures is to spend time learning about the history and culture behind specific poses that I connect with the most, which, for today, was Tree Pose (Vrikshana).

The information I was able to glean online was often contradictory. One source I located included a story of a queen who got kidnapped who kept her love for her husband alive by meditating in tree pose in a forest. Another source described it as a centuries-old pose that is used to raise one’s energy (prana). Yoga is a tradition passed, in part, from in-person training by one generation to the next, so I would love to find a way to learn about it from someone who could provide contextualization and details regarding meaning behind the movements.

My experience of tree pose is that, even though I fall in and out of it repeatedly, I find it to be a grounding and centering pose. I have to steady my breathing and collect my concentration in order to maintain it. I do find it to be more invigorating rather than calming, so I connected with what I’d researched in that sense. What is your favorite yoga pose? What are its origins?

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