Vrksasana or Tree Pose increases balance, stretches the thighs, groins, torso and shoulders whilst improving concentration and focus; it’s great for calming the mind and developing both mental and physical poise.
The thinking behind this pose is that it teaches to balance on one foot while gently swaying in the breeze like a tree. Ankles and calves are strengthened and the abdomen is toned through this practice.
When starting out with this pose, it is normal to keep your arms bent at the elbow with hands together, palms facing, at chest height. As your stability increases, you can ‘grow’ your tree, stretching arms above the head and eventually reaching high into the sky.
Take good care if you are feeling dizzy or light-headed, if you have insomnia or are experiencing headaches; the balancing aspect of this pose could be affected. It is not advisable to raise your arms high above the head if you have high blood pressure. As always, listen to your body and heed cautions.
- Standing in Mountain Pose, with weight evenly distributed across both feet, shift your weight to your left leg.
- Bend your right knee and draw your right foot to your inner left thigh with your hand.
- Foot should never rest on knee, only above it on the thigh or below it on the calf.
- Centre your pelvis over your left foot.
- Align left hip with right hip.
- Press palms together in prayer position and lengthen tailbone.
- Fix your gaze on a single, still point, directly in front of you.
- Press the foot against the thigh and the thigh against the foot.
- Inhale and extend hands and arms overhead, reaching fingertips to the sky.
- If your shoulders have enough flexibility, you can press palms together again in prayer position, overhead.
- Hold for up to a minute.
- Release the pose by stepping back into Mountain Pose then repeat on other side.