Tree Pose to Ease the Body Into Meditation
Fall is a time of seasonal quickening, as we go back to work in earnest, and a time of rising anxiety. It is a perfect time to start or renew a mind/body meditation practice. You will discover that if you give your body a chance to unwind through the physical practice of yoga, it will be much easier to sit, and the mind will more easily turn within.
We asked Narain, a meditation master and yoga teacher from the Guayrapa Retreat Center in Tarragona, Spain, to suggest a cooling and calming asana, or yoga pose, to ease the body into meditation.
The point is to gently stretch the body and to become very aware of the breath. This is not meant to be vigorous. Instead, allow the mind to naturally turn inward.
Vrikshasana/Tree pose: This asana is calming, cooling, and balancing for the body, including the left and right hemispheres of the brain.Stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides (Mountain pose). As you bring your awareness to your breath, bring your hands into Prayer position at heart-center. Slowly shift body weight to your right leg and find your focal point. While continuing to be aware of the breath, slowly raise the left leg to the right ankle, right calve, or right thigh. Balance here, aware of the breath. With a soft gaze, strongly engage the right leg for about five cycles of inhalation and exhalation. Slowly release out of the pose and repeat on the left side.