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
A still spot straight ahead
Half Lotus pose
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
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