There are many external and internal skills that can be practiced through meditation which I have shared in the past and will share even more share in the future. Next week, we will begin discussing how to find a great mind-body teacher that can provide you with the knowledge of all of these skills. Today, let’s focus on one of these skills with a mixed standing/sitting meditation: embrace the tree.
Just like a couple weeks ago, this week's blog features some of the amazing arboretum shoot photography of Axie Breen! Please visit Axie's website and support her if you can!
The Physical Side of Embrace the Tree
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and slightly bend the knees. Tuck the tailbone in and keep the head suspended. Relax your shoulders and, of course, your face. Hold the arms out like you are hugging a thick tree, fingers pointing toward each other and about 5 inches apart. Hold your arms so your thumbs line up with your shoulders.
Remember: if you cannot stand, you can practice Embrace then Tree while sitting.
Sit on the ground with your legs crossed, or normally on the edge of a chair. Hold the arms as you would while standing. Relax your shoulders and face, lengthen up through the spine, close your eyes and focus on the up and down forces. Down through the buttocks, legs, shoulders, and face, and up through the spine and the top of the head.
The Mental Side of Embrace the Tree
Send your mind down through the legs, about 5 to 8 inches into the earth. Create a heavy, downward sensation through the legs and a light, upward sensation through the spine and the top of the head.
Close your eyes and stand for 3 minutes (for beginners) to 45 minutes (for advanced practitioners). I recommend practicing both sitting and standing, if you are able, until you can reach 45 minutes of each.
Other meditation options when standing in embrace the tree are:
Focus on the lower energy center
Focus on your roots
Focus on the energetic baton
Focus on 4 gates breathing
Focus on the bubble meditation
Use the sunrise to lead the energy through the third eye and into the lower energy center
Use the sunset to allow your impurities to leave the body
That's it! Happy stretching, deep breathing, and empty your mind!