Beautiful mangrove trees grow in the tidal estuaries along the Australian coast. Their slender multi-trunked form often reminds me of dancers, gathering to play along the shore, frolicking in the shallow water.
However there is much more to mangroves than their graceful shape; they are brilliant examples of coping with toxins, something we all need to do! In particular mangrove trees have to cope with lack of oxygen, excess salt and tidal inundation … dont you sometimes feel like that? “Help! I can’t breathe, this is toxic, and I am about to be overwhelmed!”
Excess salt is stored in leaves and bark, which is then shed, aerial roots reach for air and nutrients above the salty water, and special breathing roots increase oxygen intake.
In yoga we use the breath to bring in oxygen and prana or life force. Breathing in fully, consciously draw the life force in to your body, and then allow yourself to let go with your exhalation, using apana-vayu (the energy that expels waste from the body) to breathe out those old toxins, shedding the dross that tarnishes your well-being. Give yourself time to be still, serene like the graceful mangrove, to breathe, to receive, to release, to be whole. That is your gift to the world, peace and wholeness, then from a full heart love and compassion flow forth for self and others.
Mangrove communities are very valuable, creating vital marine ecologies essential for healthy life in the estuaries and foreshores. You are very valuable too, as you find your way, so do your companions, your community, and we all embark on the path towards a richer life, learning a better way of being together in peace and love.