27 Jul, 2018
Veena Prasad and Preethi Srinivas
Yoga is a wonderful way of destressing and countering the pressures of school, friends, sports, and life in general. You feel strong, flexible and full of confidence. The best part is that yoga is non-competitive, which means that you do it for yourself! You connect more deeply with yourself. You become aware of your body, of all the muscles that are stretching, bending, contracting… making you stronger, and filling you with self-esteem. Yoga brings to the surface that marvelous inner light that all of you have, so spread that yoga mat, and try some poses that our friends from Yoga Jungle are waiting to teach you!
The story so far: Yoga Jungle is abuzz with activity. Bunny Rabbit and her friends — Turtle Tom, Ellie the Elephant, Dimpy Duck, Fergo the Frog and others — have just finished playing a game of hide and seek around Vriksha the Tree. They have been relaxing in Shashankasana.
Chapter 2: Vrikshasana
Rejuvenated after breathing deeply in Shashankasana (Remember this pose? The animals of Yoga Jungle started playing and teasing each other.
The monkeys, being monkeys, could never stay still for long. They were pulling Bunny Rabbit’s tail and scampering up Vriksha the Tree before she could catch them. She was faster than them on land but had no clue how to climb trees. All she could do was just glare at them from the base of the tree.
Suddenly she spotted a shy face peeping from behind Vriksha.
“Hey, who’s that?”
Geeya the Giraffe, who was crouching behind the tree, stepped out and rose to her full height.
“Oh!” All the animals gasped.
“Such a long neck!”
“Is that a neck or a snake?”
“How does food travel down such a long pipe?!”
“Does it get digested on the way?!”
“Ha ha ha!”
Geeya blushed and hid behind the tree again.
The animals realised that they had hurt her, and kept quiet.
Bunny Rabbit hopped over to Geeya and said, “Hey, we are sorry. We didn’t mean to make fun of you. Want to play?”
Geeya wanted to play. She hoped they would be her friends. But she was too shy.
So Vriksha himself spoke! “Geeya, you should take turns hiding behind every tree, not just me!”
Geeya looked around, puzzled. Vriksha was the only tree in the clearing. But all the other animals understood what Vriksha wanted them to do, so they immediately got into the “tree pose”, or Vrikshasana.
“Your challenge is to remain as still as me,” said Vriksha. “For balance, look at one fixed spot on the ground. Let’s see who can stay in this pose for the longest time!”
All the animals took up the challenge, even the monkeys. They were up on the branches of Vriksha, standing on one leg and trying their best to keep their balance.
Bunny Rabbit thought they looked funny. She had an idea!
“Geeya,” she called softly. Geeya bent down towards Bunny Rabbit to hear her better. As Geeya lowered her head, Bunny Rabbit hopped on to her neck and rose up with her.
Woah! She had a lovely view of all the animals in Vrikshasana, and soon emerged just behind the monkeys.
“Boo!” she shouted.
The monkeys lost their balance and came tumbling down! Bunny Rabbit had her revenge, thanks to Geeya!
Vrikshasana or the Tree Pose is an excellent balancing pose. A good sense of balance helps improve confidence and brings a certain steadiness within. An additional benefit is that the weight of the entire body is shifted to one leg, strengthening that leg. Vrikshasana can also be used to correct posture related problems in kids.
Note: This fun yoga series only aims to create awareness, and not teach yoga. One must learn yoga ONLY from a qualified teacher. Yoga must always be done on an empty stomach.