A student once asked a yogi how she could improve her balance poses particularly the Tree pose. I keep falling over, she said. The yogi asked, when you are in Vrksasana, what kind of tree are you? What are your branches like, your leaves? Do you provide shade for a weary pilgrim or a cow? How exactly do you sway when the monsoon winds pregnant with water droplets appear from the south? Get to know your tree like a good friend and over time its roots will take hold.

Get to know your yoga postures with acceptance, understanding, and humor. Your breath and your imagination are your allies in this endeavor. There is no way to fail in yoga.

 Abhay Ghiara is a teacher, writer, and Gandhian economist. He studied economics and yoga at Bombay University, graduating exactly 100 years after Mahatma Gandhi. He has practiced yoga all his life.

Abhay lectures on yoga and life in San Francisco, London, Bristol, Chicago, and Mumbai, India. photo: Maritstar

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