“Above all things, a tree is rooted to the ground; its trunk, however tall or thin, short or broad, is utterly stable and secure. So it is with Tree pose. It is the roots, the standing foot, that allow the trunk to stay stable and the branches to grow upward toward the sky.
Without roots, a tree would be carried off by the wind in its branches. And these solid foundations give trees longevity: The oak and chestnut are capable of living for hundreds of years. A mature oak tree can weigh thirty tons, cover two-thousand square yards, and comprise twenty-miles’ worth of roots and branches.”
~~From The Spirit of Yoga by Kathy Phillips
And so should we…
Advice from a Tree:
Stand tall and proud
Sink your roots into the earth
Be content with your natural beauty
Go out on a limb
Drink plenty of water
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view!
Inspiring Celtic Mythology Link for trees
Working out some new yoga this week via the incredible Duncan Wong and his Yogic Arts practice. He combines yoga with martial arts moves that tone muscles, open joints, and totally liberate your range of motion. I found myself in positions I only dreamed within the first practice. I love the insight on breathing technique, and the abdominal and gluteal sections have me a bit sore (all in a good way). Duncan is incredibly agile, effortless in his moves, and perfectly sculpted, which gives this yogi some eye-candy inspiration. Here’s a piece of an interview:
“I was born to a Chinese beatnik father and a Scottish hippiee mother in San Francisco in 1968, a product of the famous “Summer of Love”. Born into a street life of budo and punk rock communities, I vacillated between urban motorcycle youth culture and remote mountain native nature survival training lifestyles.
I was a street fighter turned proffesional kick-boxer, in the Korean styles, and came upon yoga as a teen. It was like a healing balm for my body and soul.”
What’s your yoga philosophy?
“Live, love, give.”
Yoga-phobe I am not. In fact you could call me quite the opposite. I love yoga and have been practicing on and off (mostly on) for nearly15 years. My pal Dharma, from Dijital Dharma, is on a 30-day Bikram yoga challenge and has inspired me even more. This pose, urdhva mukha svanasana, or up-ward facing dog, is a favorite of mine…and I can actually do this one. Here the lovely Lisa Matkin demonstrates–wish I could say it was me…
Here are some poses that I love…but can’t do, demonstrated by yoga rocking Sean Corn, and the hippy Jivamukti Yoga founder Sharon Gannon:
What I’m challenged with today is a ripping yoga mat. I’ve had this cool orange sherbert colored mat, made by Gaim, for some years now, more than 8 I would guess, and through the years have bought others and given them away to budding yogites like myself, and simply because the new mats weren’t good for me. Last year I went on a quest for a new mat in my area, because, well, my mat was starting to seriously shred. When I wear my black yoga pants, I’m spotted with tiny flakes of orange. But it still is the greatest sticky mat. Last year I figured — it was time. I purchased a new Gaim mat…safe to get the same kind again, right? Evidently Gaim, famous for all its holistic yogic living, has decided to start making its yoga mats in China, have dropped the price to around 20 bucks instead of 30, which my original cost, resulting in the very basic yoga mat that sucks. When I opened it the smell of the dye or the plastic or whatever burned the nostrils, and of course, did not induce a very pleasant yoga practice. It was extremely shiny and slippery–Down dog was impossible since my hands continually slid right from under me. Took it back. Disgusted with Gaim company.
Next came a natural fiber mat…yada, yada, yada. Didn’t smell, but I slipped on this one also. Lastly, I tried a Nike mat which we spotted at Olympia Sport, where my daughter was eyeing some expensive sneakers. Cool, I thought. Which color should I take: the pink and gray, or the blue and tan. “Pink and gray, pink and gray.” So I unrolled this one at home. No smell, nice line down the middle for alignments. But, it is not a sticky mat. I slid again, and sweated on my palms almost instantly. My daughter took this one-since she picked it.
Today, my mat lost a serious chunk, right where foot placement occurs regularly. Shredded it out during plank pose. Only a short matter of time before I chatturunga right through. (That’s a yoga push-up for the non-yogites out there).
So, does anyone have a yoga mat recommendation for a 40-ish chick who sweats like a normal person, but slips on most mats? I would order on-line, but I don’t have any idea which ones really work. They all make promises.
I am still at peace however…faithful that enlightenment will come…
POST Update: I did finally find a pretty good sticky mat. Wai Lana has a nice line of eco-friendly mats, with a recommendation that you give the new mat a bath in mild detergent to enhance stickiness. It worked!!