Tree Pose is primarily a balancing pose and secondly a hip-opener pose. Tree Pose taps into your natural grounding and creative abilities as half of your muscles and energy goes downward, allowing the other top half to rise even higher like the wise and resilient trees we see everyday.
Trees sway and bend in the wind, but their roots keep them from tipping over. We aim for the same stability and flexibility in performing this pose and reflecting on this aspect in our lives.
Tree Pose is a common pose found in yoga class, which targets your balance, flexibility, helps you center, and strengthens your ankles, calves, thighs, and spine. It can also help relieve sciatica and reduce flat feet.
To start, come to Mountain Pose, Tadasana:
Apply Tadasana’s Guidelines to the Standing Foot
Lift and spread your toes and the ball of your standing foot, with your weight balanced evenly on the foot.
Engage your thigh muscles and lift the kneecaps.
Strengthen the foot’s inner arch by lifting the inner ankles
Imagine a line of energy shooting up you spine, neck, head and out through the crown of the head.
Lengthen your tailbone to the floor
lift the pubic bone and pelvic floor to gain stability in the pose
Getting into Tree Pose
1.Pick a point to look at for balance, as you reach down, bend your right knee and grab your ankle.
2. Bring the ankle up to your inner thigh, making sure to not place the foot on knee area. Then, place the foot against your inner thigh.
3.Maintaing your single-pointed gaze, release the hands, lengthen torso and place hands straight out to the side or in a specific mudra, hand position.
4. Widen the shoulder blades while keeping ribs closed. Widen your collarbones
5. Stay in tree pose for 1-3 minutes. Repeat on the other side.
Here are five ways to perform tree pose to challenge your balance, add spiritual and devotional meaning, and to customize to your daily intention. Tree Pose in Sanskrit is Vrksasana, which literally means tree (vrks), and pose (asana).
1. Anjali Mudra: Press the palms of the hands together at the front of your chest to tune into your heart center, the seat of greater understanding. Breathe deep and slow. Reflect on your heart’s wisdom in this pose and notice anything that comes to your attention.
2.Gyan Mudra: Spread arms slowly to your sides, parallel to the floor. Connect the tips of your thumb to the tip of your index fingers. This mudra aids to gain and retain knowledge, increases concentration, and relieves headache, anger, hypertension, and insomnia.
3. Half Lotus Tree Pose: To maintain and increase hip joint flexibility, place your bent leg’s foot on top of the standing leg’s thigh. Maintain gazing at a single point and place hands on hips or in prayer pose.
4. Mudra Variation: This pose improves concentration and balance. It also engages both sides of your brain to aid you in solving problems. It builds confidence and a spiritual connection. Imagine a line of energy going from the earth’s core up your body and into the cosmos!
5. Paschim Namaskarasana (Reverse Prayer Pose): Awaken your upper body, spine, energy system, heart-center and build concentration with this tricky mudra. It also helps you open your lungs, breathe deeper and stretch your wrist flexors too!
Be gentle with your wrists, elbows and knees in these poses and ease off if you feel any sharp pain.
Enjoy these Tree Pose variations!