Tree Pose or Vrksasana is a lovely soothing pose, which helps to improve overall mental balance, focus and concentration.
There are many variations of the pose, using different mudras and adjustments, and once you start practising, you will soon ooze into your own personal Tree pose position, which feels amazing for you.
Benefits of Tree Pose
As well as the mental health benefits mentioned above, Tree pose offers a string of physical benefits too. Helping to stretch out the inner thighs, groin and torso, the pose also builds strength in the calves and ankles, as you balance on one single leg. The abdominal muscles should also receive a workout as you focus on your core for balance and stability.
During times when you might feel a bit “off-balance” it might feel especially tricky to get comfortable in Tree pose. However, bear with it and approach it with grace and patience. Eventually it will teach you a meditative state of mind, which will help to bring calm to all situations.
How to get into Tree Pose
To begin, stand in Mountain pose with both arms by your sides. Feel your weight evenly distributed across both legs and feet and appreciate the balance and firm grounding you have.
Mentally shift your weight over into your left foot. (Doing this mentally, before physically will give you an even better preparation for the balance.)
Next, physically move your weight over to your left foot. Bend your right knee, raising your right foot off the ground and open the knee out to the right-hand side.
Lift your foot as high as you can without any assistance, and then reach down to clasp your foot with your right hand. Using your hand for support, draw the sole of your right foot alongside your inner ankle, calf or thigh – wherever feels good for you at that moment. Please note, your foot should not be resting on your knee as it will cause too much pressure on the joint.
Adjust your position so that your pelvis is centred directly over your standing foot, ensuring that both hips are aligned.
Once in a comfortable balance, press your palms together in prayer position in front of your chest, with your thumbs pointing towards your heart.
Fix your gaze gently on a single point ahead of you. Breathe into this point and allow it to help keep you focus and remain grounded.
From here, take a deep inhale as you extend your prayer overhead. Reach your fingertips high up to the sky. If you would rather keep your palms at the chest, then this is completely fine too.
Hold the pose for up to ten breaths and then draw the hands back down by the sides and slowly release the foot, with control.
Repeat in the same way and for the same amount of time on the opposite leg.
Precautions with Tree Pose
As mentioned above, this pose, and all other balancing yoga poses can be tricky if our mental or physical health is a little ‘off’. If you are experiencing migraines, low blood pressure or dizziness, then it might be better to use a wall for support or give this pose a miss for this time around.
People with high blood pressure should generally keep their hands at their chest and not attempt to reach overhead during Tree pose.
We practice Tree pose in many of our yoga classes in Harrogate, so please view our timetable and find a class that fits in with your busy lifestyle. We would love to see you soon at Go Yoga!