Posture Clinic: Vrksasana

Vrksasana – Tree Pose

Woman in Tree Pose
Vrksasana is a balancing posture that allows us to build strength, not just in our body, but in also in our mind. It gives us an opportunity to stay present with our experience, because if our mind wanders, our body will soon follow and we fall out of the pose. Some days we’ll be sturdy and grounded, while other days we’ll be like a tree swaying in the breeze. Approach tree pose with determination, patience and maybe a sense of humor. 😉

Follow these steps to get into Vrksasana:

  1. Start by standing in tadasana(mountain pose). Find a drishti (focal point that’s not moving), perhaps gazing down about 4 feet in front of you.
  2. Begin to shift weight slightly into your right foot, imagining roots growing down into the earth.
  3. Place the sole of your left foot to your right ankle, calf, or above the knee to your inner thigh. Keep your pelvis neutral, engaging your core to keep you lighter on your standing leg.
    You might rest hands on your hips, bring them to anjali mudra at your heart, or reach your arms to the sky as though you’re growing branches toward the sun.
  4. You can keep your drishti down, or for more of a challenge you might bring your gaze further out in front of you, eventually shifting your gaze up.
  5. Continue to breathe as you experience rooting into your tree. After 5-10 breaths mindfully release, shake it out and prepare for an entirely new experience as you switch sides.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens thighs, calves, ankles and spine
  • Stretches groins and inner thighs
  • Opens chest and shoulders
  • Improves sense of balance
  • Increases focus and confidence
  • Helps to relieve sciatica

Cautions:

  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Low blood pressure
  • High blood pressure (don’t raise arms overhead)