03/04/2011 12:05 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

I Am Kind

Mantra: I Am Kind
Posture: Tree Pose


The tree pose asana has multiple physical benefits. It strengthens the thighs, calves, ankles and spine. It stretches the inner thighs and groin area, and it improves an overall sense of balance. It can also be of benefit in relieving sciatica and in reducing flat feet. With one foot pressing into the opposite thigh, it is also known to stimulate kidney meridian pressure points that run along the inner thighs - acting as a bit of self-acupressure.

Avoid raising your arms above your head in this workout if you tend towards feeling lightheaded, and please seek medical advice before attempting the complete asana if you have very low blood pressure.

To begin:
• Stand upright with the feet together and your arms by the side.
• Raise the right thigh by bending your knee. Place the sole of your right foot as high up as possible onto the inside of the left thigh.
• While balancing on the left foot, raise your arms up over your head, while keeping your arms as straight as possible. Breathe steadily as you move. Keep your focus on one spot.
• Hold the final posture while completing ten full breath cycles (one inhale and one exhale equals one breath cycle).
• Repeat in your mind I Am Kind. Feel the essence of kindness.
• Return your right leg and your arms to the starting position. Pause. Repeat the movements, this time raising the left leg.

Carry this out for as long as you feel comfortable, all the while practicing and honing your present-minded focus. Use this practice to calm a restless mind and to drive away distractions as you concentrate on maintaining balance. Achieving balance on either leg for a length of time can be challenging - please do not become discouraged, but simply continue practicing. It is inevitable that you will see progress in time.

Yogis associate this posture with a tree - the leg which you are balancing on is the trunk rooted into the ground; the arms, lifted leg and head as branches and leaves of the tree. A tree epitomizes a non-judgmental, resource-providing, season-changing, patient symbol of our Earth. Embody these attributes today.

Throughout your day today, offer sincere compliments, resources, shade, flowers, and any other expressions of kindness to those who are lucky enough to be in your neck of the woods.

"Acceptance of others - their looks, their behaviors, their beliefs - bring you an inner peace and tranquility instead of anger and resentment." - Unknown

May today grace you with kindness as you shower kindness to others,