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Root Down to Rise Up

Ever since I was a kid, I have felt connected to trees. I made a little haven in the giant evergreen outside of my grandma's house. I loved to fall asleep was listening to the wind whisper like a quiet ocean through the pine trees. As a teenager, I wrote a poem about being "queen of the aspens;" when I wrote it, I could feel the swaying of the branches, the quivering of the golden leaves. I even have a favorite tree that leans over the Susquehanna River, becoming taller and more improbably balanced every year.

There is just something about their solitary permanence, their patience in each season, the texture of the bark, the magic of the clear, sweet sap in the maples, and the infinite ways they sustain life for us and many other creatures.

As with most things in the beautiful earth, parallels from nature can be applied to the human experience. The branch of yoga called hatha yoga refers to the balance that comes from "rooting down to rise up." Trees actively press their roots deep into the ground to create stability and find water. They also stretch their branches to the sun, seeking nourishment. In between the roots and the branches, the trunk is incredibly strong while also being flexible when needed.

In the upcoming posts, I will explore the principles of "rooting down to rise up" in different applications of living.

Next up: How feet are the roots of the body.

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