I’ve generally been good at tree pose. I can get my leg up high and hold myself still with both hands in prayer. I didn’t really give it much thought except for things like:
Horray for tree pose!
My tree pose rocks
Woo-hoo! Almost time for savassanah
But one day I found myself set up in a front corner of the room where the mirrors came together. I noticed something. When the instructor said the part about trying to get two knees in one line, I noticed my right knee was not in line with my left. Hmmm….so while I can easily get into tree stand and hold it, I do in fact have some work to do in this posture. Interesting. I checked my left side. It was much better than my right. If I concentrated and moved slowly, I could get my left knee to align with my right. But it wasn’t there on its own. I had to coax it.
In the last two weeks I have found myself using tree pose as an opportunity to further open up my hips. Now, y’all probably think I am late to the game here, right? I mean, that’s one of the main purposes of tree pose, right? It’s supposed to open my hips.
But I never focused on it as a hip opener. Instead, I just took for granted what I could already do well, assumed it was an easy posture for me, and gave it little thought. I know…missed opportunities! So now, I have not even bothered putting both hands in prayer most times I do it. Yes, I can, and maybe I should because I can. However, I also know that the emphasis of tree pose is not about getting the hands into prayer but about opening the hips and lining up the knees. So I tend to hold on to my foot and really focus on the hip opening part. It’s made the pose more challenging but also more benefical for me.
Lesson learned here: The poses that come easiest to me are the ones I give little thought to. The more difficult ones are where I spend most of my cognitive (and emotional) energy. What am I missing by letting the easy posture remain easy? What do I miss out on when I don’t challenge myself in my more “easy” postures?
I’m challenging y’all to identify an easy posture the next time you practice and try to think about it in a new way. Find something you think is easy to do and look for things you are missing. Look for ways to challenge yourself in your posture. Then share!