Tree

Sanskrit: Vrksasana

Tree is a foundational balance pose which is sequenced into most practices at the studio. It encourages us to find grounding and a solid foundation and to practice root and extension. There are plenty of variations, challenges and props to enable everyone to practice this pose.

Remember the rules of balancing:

  • Fix your gaze (drishti) on a still spot ahead of you

  • If you fall out of your balance, come straight back in

  • Sometimes we don’t feel balanced and one side might be very different to the other, accept what is

Practice instant forgiveness and enjoy your balancing!

Picture five is a comedy fail, not to be used as guidance.

How to get into the pose:

  • From Mountain pose find a solid foundation through your right foot, spread your toes out on your mat and ground down through every part of your foot.

  • Inhale to lift your left foot and rest it on your inner left thigh, your left shin or left ankle.

  • Draw your abdominal muscles in and up (engage uddiyana bandha).

  • Bring your hands to your heart in Anjali mudra (prayer).

  • Release your shoulders away from your ears. Lift the crown of your head towards the sky.

  • Take deep breaths.

  • To release the pose, inhale your left knee forward and then exhale your left foot to the floor.

  • Repeat the pose on the left foot.

Remember to create the balance between effort and ease in your pose.

How long to stay in the pose:

  • Ten to fifteen breaths

Gaze (Drishti)

  • Nose

  • A still spot straight ahead

Challenge yourself:

  • Half Lotus pose

  • Toe stand

  • Close your eyes

Talk to your teacher about these more advanced variations.

Modifications you can take to make this pose more accessible:

  • Foot stays on the floor

  • Practice next to the wall or a chair - your fingertips can gently rest on the prop for balance

  • Use a block under your lifted foot

Variations:

  • Take your prayer up and overhead

Contraindications / Cautions:

  • Do not practice this pose if you feel dizzy and be cautious if you have low blood pressure

  • Don’t lift your arms overhead if you have high blood pressure