Husband and wife Hal Preussner and Debra Pruessner have taken yoga to new heights with the TreeYoga Multi-Sling (TYMS) and founding of TreeYoga. An alternative to the posh treehouses by builder Roderick Romero ($50,000+) or the towering elevations of tree climbing, TreeYoga offers yogis a bare-bones, gentle arboreal experience. The padded slings support practitioners to hang loose and find steady footing on tree trunks and the surrounding ground.
As in the yoga posture (asana) of the Tree Pose (Vrksasana), TreeYoga beckons us to reflect upon a core principle of yoga — balance. Like trees, yogis can now root themselves into the earth and extend gloriously up to the sky. There is great beauty and playfulness in the flowering shapes of yogis sprouting from trees.
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Trees also offer a profound lesson in the quieting and stilling of the mind, another aim of yoga. Contemporary spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle has described meditating on natural forms as a method to find presence: “Look at a tree, a flower, a plant. Allow nature to teach you stillness.” (Stillness Speaks, 2003, p. 5). Indeed, it was beneath the sheltering Bodhi tree that, for Buddhists, Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha (“the Enlightened one”).
Connecting with nature as a spiritual practice has implications for environmental consciousness and action. TreeYoga has helped strengthen this link between earth-friendly living by taking the mat outdoors and into nature. Tarzan would approve.