Vrksasana, or tree pose, is a yoga pose that helps develop poise and balance. It's also an excellent way to exercise your focus and concentration. If you've suffered from repetitive knee injuries, it's best not to practice tree pose.
A few ballet pliés are a good way to get ready for tree pose.
- Stand with feet outside of the hips and toes pointed outward.
- Straighten your spine and bend at the knees to enter a squat position.
- Inhale as you lower down and exhale as you come up.
- Concentrate on feeling equal strength through both legs.
- Repeat for a few cycles of breath.
Once you feel grounded and strong, you're ready to move on to tree pose.
- Begin in mountain pose, standing with feet directly beneath the knees and knees directly beneath the hips. Stack your shoulders and take a few breaths to feel your symmetry as you stand.
- If you need to regain your balance at any time in the pose, you can return to this starting position.
- Shift your weight onto your left foot.
- Slowly pick up your right leg.
- Pause and assess how you feel. Make sure you have a strong core to help hold your leg up. Find a place where you feel balanced.
- Once you feel ready, place your right foot on your left leg. Place the foot low, at calf or ankle, or high, at the thigh, but don't place the foot on your left knee joint.
- For a more advanced option, rest the side of your right foot on your left hip, with the right knee pointing at an angle toward the floor.
- Once your base is set, experiment with different combinations of arm position to find what feels right for you.
- Anchor your line of vision to maintain your balance.
- When you're finished, come out of the pose and shake out your legs as needed.
Now for tree pose on the other side.
- Return to your original position of standing symmetrically.
- Shift your weight onto your right foot.
- Pick up your left leg.
- Assess how you feel. Engage your core.
- Inhale and then raise your leg and rest your left foot on your right ankle, calf, thigh, or hip.
- To come to classic tree pose, bring your palms together in front of your chest.
- For an advanced stage of the classic pose, raise your arms above your head.
- Feel your spine reaching up through the crown of your head and down through your leg.
- With a strong base, you can experiment with the position of your arms and hands.
- When you're finished, shake out your legs and come back to mountain pose to close.
With enough practice, tree pose can help you find a stable anchor within yourself, rather than relying on outside landmarks to find balance. Start small with the pose, moving into more advanced versions only when you feel comfortable with the basics.