Questions? Ask a Tree!

Trees are awesome. I know this is true, but I was happy to be reminded of the many ways trees are awesome when yoga teachers Jan Jeremias and Dee Andalkar chose trees as the theme for a recent yoga and aromatherapy workshop. On this March afternoon, we talked about the gift of trees and considered ways we can be more like them.

Why would a person want to be like a tree? Well, here are some words we associated with trees at the beginning of the workshop:

  • Grounded
  • Strong
  • Branches
  • Flexibility
  • Roots

The Many Gifts of Trees

Do you remember the book, The Giving Tree? Indeed trees have a lot to offer, most notable the oxygen that keeps us alive, of course. Trees also give us the gift of aromatherapy.

There are many tree essential oils, including the one Jan and Dee diffused for or workshop, Douglas fir. The oil has a light, citrus-like quality. It’s a clean, purifying scent that’s good for the respiratory system. It’s also uplifting and can help with focus.

We also sampled a combination of white fir and grapefruit and then cardamom essential oil. While not a tree oil, cardamom does have the grounding quality associated with trees.

Get Grounded, Branch Out, Ask a Tree

One of the great things about trees is they are strongly and firmly connected to their source, the earth, yet they are flexible and able to sway in the wind. This gives trees a foundation from which to weather the storms, which is something thing I’d like to have in common with these beautiful beings.

I was especially struck by Dee’s description of the conversations she has with trees. Now before you start thinking she’s a bit crazy, let me explain. Better yet, try it! I’ve had a few chats with trees myself.

If you’re stressed, confused, overwhelmed, sad, or feeling any other emotion you’d like some help with, go outside and sit with a tree. Watch its branches sway. Watch its leaves rustle in the wind. Notice the beauty and strength of its trunk, the color of its leaves, and the uniqueness of its branches. I promise if you do this long enough (and without thinking about it too much), answers will come.

Whether the answers actually come from the trees or from somewhere within us is irrelevant. Trees, after all, don’t look to others to solve their problems. Perhaps they serve as reminders that when we need answers, we can find them within if get grounded, strong, and quiet. When we align with our higher selves, we can navigate what comes our way.

How to Be More Like a Tree

If you’re a yogi, you can be more treelike with a grounding yoga practice. Jan led us through a series of poses that were both grounding and expansive. Tree pose, of course, was one of them. In fact, we did some variations of tree pose that built upon the basic pose.

Poses like crescent lunge and warrior, which we also practiced, are treelike as well. We even did a wonderful flow in which we more or less became trees, moving from an acorn to a full-grown tree with branches.

My Chat with Trees

Asking for answers, as Jan noted well, is part of the human condition. We all want answers; we all wanted to be guided, and we hope we’re able to be guides for ourselves.

But we all also need help. With this in mind, I spoke to the trees in yard the next morning. I had to listen carefully to hear their reply since for the most part, the branches are still bare. But on that morning, the first of spring, as I watched the swaying seed pods (you know, those prickly balls that appear before the leaves return), the trees whispered these words: patience, hope, and renewal.

I urge you to speak with trees as often as possible.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Things Yogis Enjoy: Finding New Experiences to Share With Yoga Friends

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Maria Kuzmiak, M.A. is a health and well-being writer with a background in nutrition, psychology and education and a passion for yoga. She has written hundreds of articles, blogs and newsletters for clients in health-related fields, particularly those specializing in yoga, natural medicine, nutrition, and spiritual health and healing. Maria has also worked as a nutritionist, teacher and technical editor. Learn more about her writing at

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