How we experience nature is not the same for all of us. For some, the mystical nature is to be feared and others a resource to be exploited. Both delusions which stem from the belief that: to be human is to be separate from nature – a consciousness which abruptly changed the way human beings related to it.
As a child I grew among the trees, in a pine grove, that gave space to majestic oaks, because of this, I know the trees not as something separate but as an emanating life force like you and I, with many similar qualities. My place in the trees is where I had the freedom to express myself as a child, twirling, dancing, singing, hiding, climbing. It was my refuge, where I ran too, bag packed, tears streaming down my face, during my tender years of childhood.
My experience of the world as a child, enriched by the constant connection to trees and abundant nature was and continues to be – life affirming. How extremely fortunate to discover the world with the trees as my allies. This magical childhood connection, lead me to Yoga in my early twenties, a turbulent time, severed from the trees and nature, living in the city experiencing the throes of emotional chaos and inner turmoil.
The concept of standing like a tree felt so at home for me, here was something that felt normal and grounded, while navigating life situations that felt at odds with who I really was. This was a time that I struggled to relate to many people, my body, work and life generally, in healthy ways. While standing in Vrksasana- tree pose, I was shown patience, opening my vision to see the tree as a healing mirror. Over time like the tree energy I embodied in practice, my balance steadied as did focused awareness. Relatively my perspective expanded, the tree was helping me access the roots and branches of my own inner realms dislodging the blocks of energy encountered as emotional chaos. My view of life and reality changed and became more constantly even-minded.
Like all illness this time of chaos was an invitation to rise above weak points – the thoughts and actions that were limiting my ability to grow in ways that encouraged awareness of the inner self. This crisis in my late teens and ongoing into my twenties lead to a personal evolution, supported by a self-directed , dedicated yoga practice. With the practice of embodying the energy of the tree as Vrksasana, I began my return to nature.
The power of the tree carried me home and continues to do so. I experience a deepening into the profound healing that all trees around us have, should we consciously meet the trees and tune into their qualities and energy. I encourage everybody to approach a living tree, observe, feel and relax next to it, with an open mind and contemplate, your own contribution to situations, what part do you play, what can you do to change things?
It is my prayer that the collective consciousness of humanity will once again rise to meet the tree.