Tree pose is our pose of the week. Its Sanskrit name is “Vrksasana” (vrik-SHAH-suh-nuh). Vrksasana clarifies just how challenging it can be to stand on one leg and is a foundational pose.
How to do Tree Pose
1. From Mountain pose, bend the right knee shifting all the weight into the left leg. Turn the right knee to the right wall resting the heel against the left leg.
2. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor to stand tall and bring your drishti, or gaze, to the wall directly in front of you to help you balance.
3. Press your right foot into the inner left thigh and your left thigh into your foot in an effort to maintain your midline.
4. If you are very balanced here, try the next stage by inhaling the arms over the head. The arms are in an H position, or the palms are together with the thumbs crossed, or the fingers are interlaced with the index finger pointed up. The fingers are reaching up and the shoulders are down and back.
5. Square both hips to the front of the room, keeping your right knee moving out to the right.
6. Firm your outer left thigh by contracting the quadriceps muscles, or the front of the thighs. Draw your belly in, lift the chest and bring the shoulder blades down.
7. Take 5–10 deep breaths, finding the length of each inhale and rooting down with each exhale.
8. Exhale and release the right leg back to Tadasana. Repeat on the other side.
Benefits of Tree Pose
- Establishes strength and balance in the legs, and helps you feel centred, steady, and grounded.
- Tree Pose improves focus and concentration while calming your mind.
- Tree Pose stretches the thighs, groin, torso, and shoulders.
- It builds strength in the ankles and calves, and tones the abdominal muscles.
- The pose also helps to remedy flat feet and is therapeutic for sciatica.