Yoga & The Nature Of Stillness: A Yoga Practice Inspired By Krishnamurti

Tree Yoga Pose, 7 color chakra watercolor flower floral pattern painting

Jiddu Krishnamurti was a philosopher and spiritual teacher born in 1895-1986 in India; he was brought up in England. He was one of the foremost spiritual leaders in the world.  He is not aligned with any religion; his teachings are neutral. His belief was that the value and beauty of nature was inextricably connected to the beauty of spirit.

“To understand the immeasurable mind,

The mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.”

-J. Krishnamurti

Our modern way of living has put a distance between ourselves and nature. Krishnamurti reminds us it only takes a moment to reacquaint with stillness. This can be done anytime, anywhere., in the peace and harmony of nature. It is In the realm of Everything around you. A clear and quiet mind can see the eternal.

“It is only when the mind is free from the old that it meets everything anew and in that there is joy.”-J.Krishnamurti 

What if we can begin to notice in everyday moments the extraordinary, the vibrancy of life? What if  our reflections in nature bring us to a deeper understanding  of our own spirituality?

Right now wherever you are you can invite that state of presence into your daily life. Not confined to a formal meditation practice, but to see within the teachings of Krishnamurti. What an extraordinary opportunity it is to be quiet naturally and to know the true radiance of self…the life that is pouring through every moment, everywhere, in everything.

This yoga practice is centered around nature, designed to help you create a sanctuary in the potent space of awareness, where your Soul can rest.

A Tree for All Seasons

“Do you know that even when you look at a tree and say ‘That is an oak tree or that is a banyan tree,’ that the naming of the tree, which is botanical knowledge, has so conditioned the mind that the word comes between you and actually seeing the tree? To come in contact with the tree you have to put a hand on it and the word will not help you touch it.”

- J.Krishnamurti

 

The following sequence is for all levels. Feel free to make any modifications that are good for your body, taking a rest as you need to. If it resonates with you, affirmations are included as you wish. Before you begin wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Enjoy being barefoot if weather and climate allow for it.

I encourage you to practice this sequence once in each season—making a spiritual pilgrimage, visiting the same tree, observing the magic that each change of seasons brings.

This sequence can also be done in the comfort of your own home, using this as a visualization.

 

Begin by SLOWLY walking in a forest, beach, park or nature center, or your own backyard. Appreciate all sounds and smells.

 

Start to tune your awareness inward

Help your soul learn to walk in awareness

With each breath

Rest your awareness on your breath

Breathing in

Filling with the breath in a way that delights you

Breathing out 

Feel that joy expand into the space around you

Listen to prompting of your own movements

With each step honoring the earth. 

 

Relax tongue and jaw, allow a smile to grace your lips.

Deep heart listening.

Maintain focus and concentration.

In watching nature we are watching ourselves.

 

Continue to walk until you connect with a tree

Breathe deeply as you connect to this special tree

Pause to stand in front of this beautiful tree

Recognize the gift placed before you

Be quiet and still

Touching this tree stand in awe

Embody the steady, anchored quality of a tree

Feel the silence all the way through you

Ask to know great silence. Seek to be absolutely silent

To be quiet naturally.

 

With nature at your feet...  

Stand for five breaths in:

 

1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Feet parallel and hip width apart

Quieting the mind and body

Circling your arms

Reach arms overhead and to your heart

Several times...

You may wish to repeat the affirmation

I find my feet opening to the earth 

I find my heart opening to the sky

I stand in AWE   

of its beauty and grace 

Slow transition to

 

2. Forward Bends (Uttanasana)

Remain in the pose for four to six breaths

Inhale; sense of extending from roots of feet

Into your heart as you half lift

Exhale; bow to the earth, upper body relaxed  

Affirmation: I stand in awe of this tree

Its seasons, its cycles of life and death

 

3. Standing with hands clasped behind

Bend your knees and lower in your

Forward bend

Back of heart soft, allow your arms to fall forward

Inhale; raise your upper body

so your head comes up last

Roll shoulders back

Drawing the shoulder blades together

PAUSE; hold chin to sky

Heart blossoms; throat opens

Inhale and say I stand in awe amid pure nature

Exhale; chin to chest   

Release tension in your

Shoulders and neck

Exhale and say pure, peaceful, patient nature

Step your feet out a little wider than shoulders width 

Lower your heels to the ground

 

4. Standing Cat/Cow

Inhale; extend arms overhead into prayer and

Exhale; bring your prayer forward and contract

As you breathe Earth, Sky, and Tree abide in the peaceful sanctuary of my heart

 

5. Standing Twist (Madhyadeha Parivrtta Variation)

Feet shoulder width apart

Begin turning your upper body

with Prayer Palms overhead

Resting in clear contemplation,

The kind heart in which you do it.

Three times each side

Adding on

Inhale; Twist RIGHT

Exhale; bow over your right foot in Runner's Stretch

Come back to center, repeating on the left side

Bow; give your whole heart to it.

Exploring your breath,

not pulling or pushing your breath

Feel the energy stream through your body

Alternate three times each side

(Standing Sequence, Poses 6-9)

 

6. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana), 3-5 breaths

Feet separated about 3 feet apart

Bend your body to the right side

With solidity and strength of a tree

Holding the pose in stillness

Stable body, stable mind

Breathe in and out slowly

Nice full Inhale; Exhale Being nice and slow

Allow your breath to lengthen and deepen

Feed your spirit

 

7. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

Bend your front knee, forming a 90 degree angle

Left foot grounded and stable

Arms in extend in a T-position  

Arms moving in internal /external rotation three times

Inhale; roll your shoulders back

Reminding you to embrace this awe inspiring

Peace and harmony of the natural world

Exhale; rotate shoulders forward

Soften your gaze to your tree

See and feel significant things

Participating in Divinity

Float in the silent symphony of self

Slowly and luxuriously

Circle the front arm, transitioning to

 

8. Peaceful Warrior (3 times)

Palm facing up and reaching back

Unraveling tension where it needs to unravel

 

9. Extended Side Angle

From Peaceful Warrior place right forearm to right thigh Extend and arc left arm overhead

Making room for a new source of growth

Having space inside…To find it. 

How precious it is. Feeling how good you feel.

 

10. Warrior Two with Bind 

Bind left hand to sacrum or right thigh

Right palm facing up and

Reaching forward as an offering

Inhale; I am a peaceful soul

In awe of the abundance of the natural world

Exhale; a living blessing  

Repeat 6-8 on the other side

 

11. Standing Figure Four with Prayer Palms

Thread left arm under your right shin

Right palm meets left

PRESS your palms together; find Anjali Mudra

Bend your standing knee to sit low in the pose

A small respite...A moment of exquisite connection to something greater than ourselves.

 

A Tree for all Seasons

Please Choose a Mudra from below to accompany your Tree Pose 

Tree Pose - Vrksasana 

Grounded. Shift your weight into your left foot

PRESS into the foot of the standing leg

Sensitive to earth beneath you,

Bring the sole of your right foot to your left inner thigh *Modification foot to ankle

Your gaze fixed on your tree 

In watching nature we are watching ourselves

Take 10-15 breaths, pausing at the end of each exhalation

Be washed in your breath, feel it refreshing you

The miracle of standing on the earth that sustains all beings. Your tree as an extraordinary spiritual source.   

Switch to the other side

A Hand MUDRA (hand gesture) Sequence for Each Season

 

Spring: Meditate on Renewal

Aware of the miracle and wonder of nature

Seed Mudra at the Heart

The promise of new beginnings

Unfolding into

Cactus arm position

Index finger touching thumb in

Gyan Mudra: make a circle with thumb and index finger out to the side

Gaze is up

Signifying the inner wisdom of the heart,

That the grace and beauty of nature will be revealed from within us. We ask that we may know this grace.

 

Summer: Meditate on Abundance

Aware of Light in Relationship to Radiance of Spirit

As a sign of Opening to wholeness of self 

Hands in Hakini Mudra

Join tips of fingers open/close

Lotus Mudra

As a sign of your own inner potential

LIFT this Mudra overhead as thumb and index touch

Forming a triangle representing Shiva and Shakti

Divine male and female converging

Look through the triangle 

this Mudra as Enlightened Spirit

Light of the self and of the sun    

Luminous

With devotion touch this Mudra to the third eye

Light pouring in

Turning downwards below your navel

Visualize light flowing at navel center

The point and power of spirit flowing through the whole body

 

Autumn: Meditate on the Fruits of your Efforts and Experiences

Awareness of release and freedom

Garuda Mudra

Palms facing you

Cross and bend your thumbs 

Palms rest over your chest

In a gesture of gratitude for all of your experiences

Keeping your wrists crossed

Release the hold of your thumbs

Fingertips draw and up in Seed Mudra

Symbolizing the Source of life within the fruit

Fingertips point to the heart

A quiet contemplation at the crossroads honoring the turning of the wheel, turning to autumn

As you hold the Mudra and spin the palms overhead

VERY SLOW RELEASE feeling effortless and free

Fingertips spread wide and even

Slowly combing thru the sides RELEASING…

 

Winter: Meditate Giving and Receiving

Awareness of Impermanence  

Palms to Heart in Anjali Mudra, simplicity

Dwell in this peaceful sanctuary of the heart

Honor the heart

The warmth of the heart as a pathway to peace, 

Receiving the breath in and out,

the magic of winter to SEE the breath

Winter…a whisper.

We are transported to place of profound natural peace

Absolutely Silent. Inner work. Alone. 

A moment to be still. In silence I stand like a bare tree

Naturally attentive, when all else fades away

I stand In silence. I become aware of my true self.

The receiving of a wonderful gift...

A clear and quiet mind that can see the eternal.

Timeless. Nameless. Welcoming the mystery.

Palms offering outwards

Give your whole heart to it

Spirits overflowing splendor magnificence

Life pouring through us to be awed, humbled and inspired by nature.  Offering energies of Love and Peace to all beings

CLOSE in Mountain POSE

 

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