Yesterday I got the chance to take my kiddos hiking (one of my favorite things outside of yoga and Pilates). I hope that our semi-regular outings 1) get those little munchkins’ wiggles out 2) fosters a love for the great outdoors and 3) gets them used to playing in the dirt because, quite frankly, I believe playing in the dirt cures a number of ailments… 🙂
As we were walking around, discussing the names of the trees (that I could remember), the types of rocks, bugs, etc, I got to thinking, and we even discussed, how all of these objects in nature had something to teach us. (I know, that’s pretty deep for 4 and 6 year olds…) It made me think about how we can take cues from nature to practice yogic principles like contentment, no matter what the season or scenary.
Today, I want to go down a slightly deeper rabbit hole with you and discuss the musings I had about what we could learn about trees. This, of course, isn’t a comprehensive list of things we can learn from trees, but just a quick thing for you to ponder as you (hopefully) get outside and bask in the glorious season that is fall.
How to learn Yoga from Trees
- Thrive where you are planted – Have you ever seen outcroppings of beautiful trees on the side of a mountain, or in between boulders? These natural wonders somehow are able to take root, grab their nutrients and grow tall despite some pretty difficult geography. Oftentimes, you and I can find ourselves in “less than ideal geographies” in life. Whether it’s owning a fitness studio during a global pandemic (my current situation) or managing work/life issues, life is a series of various “geographies” sometimes it’s good soil where things grow easy and sometimes it’s rocky or dry, or precarious. Regardless where you are right this second, make the choice to grow those roots deep, find your nurishment, and THRIVE. (a regular practice can help with this!) If you were to think of this from a contentment standpoint, you’d see how Santosha (contentment, or satisfaction) is at the root of this idea.
- Deep roots help keep you strong. Don’t get me wrong, I love all sorts of trees, but have you noticed that the first trees to fall are often the trees with the shallow roots? Sure, shallow roots may spread out further in width, but the shallower the roots, the less ability the tree has to withstand the storms. (and we get a lot of storms in these parts, right?) Life is no different. Roots take time to build and strengthen. If you don’t take that time with practice, loyalty, and grit, you’ll be like the shallow rooted tree that gets blown over in the storms. Don’t be that tree. Commit to growing deep roots. Be loyal to yourself, to your practice, and to your community. Dig deep and grow tall. Being content allows you to stay in one place long enough to find good ground where those roots can grow deep.
- Trees that can bend don’t break as easily. After the tornado of 2020 I remember the devastation of not just the houses around our area, but the trees. It broke my heart to see all the loss (but I was thankful that it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been in terms of human life). Did you notice that the trees that could bend didn’t end up on the ground as firewood? Flexiblity is more than just being able to touch your toes. It’s the ability to pivot when the weather changes, to grow (or at least not break) with the weather/geography/life changes. Pivoting isn’t easy, but if you don’t want to end up being firewood, it’s a necessity. Besides. trees that survive those storms often end up with some pretty cool growth patterns, that tell of storms survived and so will you! Of course, surviving the pandemic has been the ultimate test of contentment (at least for me.) Everytime I wanted to run away and hide, I’d think about how I needed to be like a willow tree and let this wind blow through my branches. Sometimes it worked better than others, if I’m being honest.
- Trees survive losing everything and come back bigger and more beautiful. Not gonna lie, this past 16 months has been HELL. Call it the fall/winter of Thrive. We were hit by covid, then by a tornado, then by God knows what else…but folks just plain didn’t come back. The studio was stripped bare, naked, like queen Cersei Lannister’s Walk of Shame, I’m pretty confident that Thrive did our naked walk basically all of 2020 and, if I’m honest, this year too. HOWEVER…Like fall, how it makes the tree leaves fall, and how we have to endure seemingless endless cold, dark winter nights……Spring is coming. And even though it’s physically fall here for us, it is SPRING at THRIVE, and I can’t wait to see all the amazing blooms that are gonna come out of this long, cold winter! Ya’ll this is the reward of contentment! You bloom, grow deep roots and the next thing you know, despite the crazy weather that went through, or whatever geography you have…..there’s something beautiful blooming.
You and I have to be like the deep rooted tree and THRIVE where we are planted, and be the flexible trees ready to bloom at the first sign of spring. It’s not easy, but if Trees can do it for, you know, EVER, certainly you and I can do it during our lifetimes. The secret, I believe is taking notes from nature and applying them to our lives.
What does it look like to Thrive where you’re planted? It means that you find your community, your niche, no matter where you are. Find a supportive network of people that will help you get and stay healthy (physically and mentally). I’m totally biased, but I think Thrive Yoga and Wellness has the best community support in our area.
What does it look like to grow deep roots? It means showing up, it means committing to the practice, it means committing to yourself and to Thrive. Deep roots are started with one word, “LOYALTY” loyalty to yourself…loyalty to your community. Your commitment to growth helps grow Thrive. The stronger you get, the stronger Thrive gets, and it cycles on and on into infinity. (can you see the spring flowers in this imagery?)
What does it mean to bend and not break? It means that no matter how uncomfortable the storms make us, we don’t let them break, we look for a change in the wind pattern, we pivot, and we keep going, together.
If you’re ready to “be like a tree,” now is the perfect time! We are launching new membership packages that will enable you to take advantage of all our services, which will help you THRIVE no matter the weather!
Over the next few months, you’ll see some shifts in our packages and products and pricing. As a studio, we have weathered quite a tremendous storm. I remain optimistic that we will continue to THRIVE and that these new products will enable us to Thrive no matter the geography, grow deeper roots, and remain flexible enough to weather the storms that are sure to come.
Stay tuned for more info!