Yoga Asanas

Tree pose- Vrksasana

Posted on 2019-01-17


Tree pose or Vrksasana originally comes from the Sanskrit words vriksa or vriksha meaning “tree” and asana meaning “pose” or posture. Once you perform your Vrksasana standing in front of a mirror, your body should look like a human tree, beautiful, balanced and strong. This yoga pose will need a bit of focus and patient, and a smile if you lose your balance!


Step by step guide

  • Start by standing in Tadasana, feet together tuck your tailbone in slightly and find your inner peace.
  • Shift your weight to your right leg. The right sole of your foot should be completely pressed to the ground. Giving you stability.
  • Bend your left leg and press the sole of your foot on your inner thigh of your right leg and open up your hip to the left. Make sure that your right leg is straight and strong for this balancing asana.
  • Hands go over your head with your palms pressed together (a bit more difficult), or in front of your heart.
  • Hold the posture for as long as you need to find your balance and strength.
  • Slowly release your left leg from your thigh as you move into Tadasana for switching leg.



Modifications

If you are an experienced yogi or just feel for a challenge. Try Bending tree pose! Start in tree pose with your right foot placed on the ground and left foot placed on your inner right thigh. From here straighten your right arm towards the ceiling and your left forearm touching your left knee. Gently bend your body to your left. Push your hip to the right for better balance and flexibility. Find your balance and hold the pose for five breaths. Make sure that you activate and engage your core muscles here!


.. is it too easy?
If you are up for a balancing challenge, try to keep your eyes closed and work on having that focus without looking. It is harder than it looks like!

Preparatory Poses

  • Warrior II: Focus is just as in Tree pose, to work with both strengthening our body and to become more flexible.
  • Bound Angle Pose: for deeper stretch and preparation
  • Extended Triangle pose: Just as we stretch our inner thighs in our Tree pose, we will do the same in our Virabhadrasana II.

Variations

If you find it hard to keep your balance in tree pose, or if you are having a problem keeping your spine straight, don’t worry there’s a good way to do the pose but on the floor. Start by laying down, and finding your Tadasana on the floor. Flex your right foot and place your left foot sole on your right thigh just as if you were standing up. The important thing here is not to have your left knee down on the ground. Instead, focus on your spine. Is it straight? Are you able to keep that core strength? Either place your hands over your head, in front of your heart. If you find that a bit too challenging, press your palms to the floor with your arms straight pointing towards your feet.
If you still want to stand up and try to find your balance in tree pose, use a wall to support you when you lose your balance. You can either have the wall on the side or stand with your back facing the wall. If you fall, the wall will be there to catch you!

Beginners tip

It can be hard to keep that balance when you are in a challenging asana. Maybe you look in a mirror during your practice or look at your yoga teacher. Try to gaze on one specific point, also called Drishti in yoga. This will help you stay strong in the posture and instead of losing balance, finding it.
Engage the Root lock
If you are able to find your Mula Bandha (root look)  in your tree pose, you will be even more stable in the posture and improve your balance. So how can I do that? Draw your tailbone in just as you were standing in Tadasana. Engage your abdominal muscles when you do it, you don’t want to engage your glutes. Once you find it easier to engage your Mula Bandha, balancing poses will be easier too!

Benefits

Vrksasana is a great pose if you want to strengthen your body, work on your balance or get a little bit more flexible. It is also good for practicing to stay focused and coordinate your body. In the same time, you will give your inner thighs, groins, and shoulders a good stretch, and strengthen your spine, ankles, and thighs. Tree pose is more than just a strengthening or flexible pose, don’t forget to really make yourself feel grounded to find your breath and stillness.

Cautions

If you have problems with low blood pressure, insomnia or a headache, then take it easy and step by step just as in any other balancing pose. If you feel dizzy or foggy, don’t raise your hands over your head. Listen to your body and what it’s trying to tell you because only you know your limits!

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