Embrace the Tree Posture
This standing posture is exactly like it sounds. Imagine you are standing with your feet at hip-width apart. Stand like you are hugging a tree, with your arms raised to should-height, with the palms facing back at the heart, and the elbows sinking down slightly. It is also like you are holding a large ball that touches the sternum, is circled by the arms, and held by the hands.
In this posture, the scapulae and spine’s tendons are stretched. The chest sinks in, allowing the sternum to press against and activate the thymus gland. As was posted yesterday, the thymus is the major gland of the immune system and rejuvenation. As long as we stand in this posture, the gland will be activated.
The chin is tucked slightly, activating the cranial pump and extending the spine. The tuck of the chin and sinking of the hips lengthens the spine. A longer spine decreases pressure between the vertebrae, allows energy to flow in the central nervous system, and gently stretches the tendons of the back.
The tendons of the body are all connected and Embracing the Tree will strengthen from the thumb to the toes and the head to the feet—on the front and back of the body. The structure of the body becomes integrated, making this a great supplemental practice for yoga and tai chi. Psychologically, it slows down the mind and the emotions, helping the practitioner to be calm. Physically, it slows the heart, slows the breathing, and strengthens the bones.
The best news is that the structure also teaches you. When you stand in Embrace the Tree, your body gets tired at all the places you aren’t relaxed. Over time, you learn to relax to remain in the posture. Try it when you can. Doing it while standing in nature is even better.