Tree Pose: Vrksasana

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Benefits

  • Stretches your inner thighs, groin and shoulders.
  • Strengthens your thighs, calves, core, and foot muscles.
  • Strengthens your posture.
  • Calms and relaxes your mind and central nervous system.
  • Develops balance.
  • Increases your mind / body awareness.

Cautions

  • Late term pregnancy and obesity (issues with balancing)
  • Headache
  • Medical conditions that affect balance
  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure - don't raise arms overhead
  • Low blood pressure

Steps

Vrksasana (vrik-SHAHS-anna)

vrksa = tree

  1. Standing in Mountain Pose, place your feet parallel and hip width apart.
  2. Extend your spine tall and fix your gaze forward at a focal point. Contract your core muscles as you shift your weight to your right foot.
  3. As you inhale, raise your left foot and place the sole of your left foot on your ankle, calf, mid thigh, or upper thigh with your toes pointing down.
  4. Keep your gaze at one point as you breathe.
  5. Feel that your left knee is comfortably pointing out to the side.
  6. The center of your pelvis should not drop to the left causing the entire pelvis to shift right.
  7. Gently press your left foot into the right inner leg. Visualize keeping your hip points and shoulders level with the ground by engaging your right outer hip muscles and pressing lightly into the right big toe mound.
  8. Feel an energetic connection rising from the medial (inner) arch of the right foot upwards to your inner groin line. Keep a light contraction in your core muscles to keep the abdomen from falling forward.
  9. Place palms in the prayer at the heart. As you inhale, slowly raise your arms overhead with your hands still in prayer. Keep the shoulder blades from rising to avoid tension in the neck. Continue to press your right foot lightly into the ground as the crown of the head lifts. Stay here for several breaths
  10. As you exit, exhale and slowly lower your palms to heart and softly place your left foot on the floor into Mountain Pose. Pause to shake the right foot and repeat on the other side.

Modifications

  • If you have difficulty balancing, place a finger on a wall for support or keep the left toes touching the floor as the left heel rests against the right ankle.
  • Roll up loose leggings if the foot slides down the support leg.
Tags: Yoga, Tree Pose, Vrksasana, asanas, yoga pose, poses, postures, pose