Why be a solitary tree when you can be part of a forest? Community and connection are antidotes to depression and addiction. What more important values to impart to our kids in the age of the iPhone? Using yoga to foster real human connection is a playful and fun way to break the ice with a new class or between new friends. Tree Pose (Vrksasana) is a natural place to start.
Stand side by side with your friend(s) and hold hands at shoulder height. Root one foot down into the earth until you feel solid and strong like a tree. When you’re ready, see if you can both lift your other foot off the ground while keeping your balance. Maybe place the bottom of your foot on your lower leg, or maybe place it on your upper leg. It doesn’t matter where your foot goes, what matters is that you all balance on one foot together. When you master one leg, try the other.
If you have a group of friends, try forest in a line or in a circle. If you feel like you might lose your balance, put your foot on the ground, find your balance and try again. What other yoga poses might you practice as a pair or as a team?
Images: K. Mae Copham with Kat Williams at Truro Yoga Seva Retreat in Gitana del Mar, Colombia, 2017-2018. Photo by Robert Oakley. Drawing of “Forest” by Yoga Teddy Bear creator K. Mae Copham.