Column: Tree pose teaches solid strength

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The tree pose builds strength in the feet, ankles and core. (Submitted photo by Brett Johnson)

The tree pose builds strength in the feet, ankles and core. (Submitted photo by Brett Johnson)

Commentary by Anne Johnson

Namaste! My name is Anne, and I teach kids yoga at Simply Yoga in Zionsville. Yoga helps us make space in our bodies and steady our minds. Join me here each month to learn about a yoga pose, its benefits, and even give it a try yourself. Remember that there is no perfect in yoga. It’s ok to look silly, wobble a bit, and laugh. Now let me introduce Tree Pose in honor of Earth Day.

Examine a tree in nature, and you will notice its strong trunk supporting wide branches, leaves, and even flowers or fruit. Below the earth a tree has roots growing down and spreading wide; they help it grow toward the sky. A tree might sway and bend in the wind, but with strong roots it stays upright.

Try to become a tree yourself. Stand tall. Lift one foot and place it on the ankle, calf or inner thigh of the standing leg. Raise hands to your heart and balance. The trick to a stable tree pose is to gaze at something that’s not moving and use that stillness to quiet your mind. When your mind is still, your body will listen.

Tree is a wonderful pose to practice with a partner. Hold a hand for support or grow your branches upward together. Practice taking at least three deep breaths in your tree pose.

Tree pose challenges our balance and builds strength in our feet, ankles and core. It reminds us that while we might bend and sway during stormy times, we are still strong and rooted. As our roots grow stronger, we are able to stretch our branches tall and stand proud.

Anne Johnson teaches kids, tots, expectant and new mothers yoga at Simply Yoga in Zionsville. As a 200 RYT registered yoga teacher and engineer, Anne enjoys writing and sharing “adult ideas” in a way that makes yoga fitness accessible to children.

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