Yoga and the Tree of Life

In the book The Tree of Yoga, BKS Iyengar expounds on how Yoga can be compared metaphorically to a tree.

The root of the tree can be seen as Yama, sets of morals and truth that can guide us towards our inner selves.

As practitioners, we should stay grounded in our roots and use it to strengthen our practice.

Next comes the trunk which represents our perception. The way we relate to the world can be split into 3 questions: 1) how we see ourselves, 2) how we want to be seen by others, and 3) how others see us. When we align the 3 questions, and they come back in cohesion, we can truly be happy living our true selves.

From the trunk is where the branches and leaves emerge – this are our Asanas and Pranayamas that guide the physical practice of yoga. Mastering these brings us more in tune with our bodies and focus us to things that truly deserves attention. It also helps us see beyond the surface, and peek into the spiritual aspects of our lives.

When we look at yoga from this perspective, we can truly appreciate how marvellous and splendid a tree can be, providing us with shade, comfort and respite from the sun and the rain.


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