April’s Focus of the Month - Tree Pose aka Vrksasana!

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Picture: 108 Lives Team Member and Three Jewels Yoga Instructor Gina de la Chesnaye with the young monks of the Kag Choede, Monastery in Kagbeni, Lower Mustang, Nepal May 2015

Asana: This month we will bring our physical awareness to aligning the body in the standing, balancing pose known as Tree or in Sanskrit Vrksasana. How can we root down firmly into the earth while lifting the heart and calming the mind? The use of drishti or the gaze is central in this asana as is a strong but flexible base or foot. We learn in this pose that just like a tree is able to sway with the wind and can bend without breaking, we too are more resilient and pliable when we move with the forces around us and are flexible in Body and Mind.

Pranayama: Nadi Shodhana or Alternate Nostril Breathing is an excellent way to bring balance to the inner channels of the body as well as allowing the central channel to flow freely. This practice settles the mind, alleviates stress and prepares the practitioner for Meditation.

Dharma/Meditation: The Sanskrit word for seed is Bija. What seeds are we planting with each thought, word and deed? What karmic seeds planted so long ago have brought us to where we are now? How are we connected to the people around us and even our perception of them? Eventually, through meditation we find the spaciousness to watch our Minds plant these seeds but we can also learn to choose which to actively cultivate and which to destroy.