Tree is an excellent pose to improve balance, while strengthening and stretching the body. Replicating the grace and stability of a tree it provides a great way to connect with your center and cultivate calm within.
Tree Pose has many benefits including:
- Strengthens feet, ankles, calves, thighs and spine
- Stretches groin, inner thighs and chest
- Improves balance in body and mind
- Reduces stress and improves concentration
1) Begin in Tadasana (“Mountain Pose”) rooting down firmly through the four corners of the feet. Gently shift all of your weight into the left foot.
2) As you inhale turn your right knee out and place the foot against the calf or inner thigh of the standing leg (do not place against the knee). Press your foot against the standing leg with toes pointing to the floor – working to find the balance between your foot pushing into the standing leg and the standing leg pushing into the foot.
3) Gently draw your knee back, working to one day bring it in line with the hip. Lengthen your tailbone towards the floor. Place your hands on your hips adjusting to ensure your hips are level and squared forward with the pelvis in a neutral position.
4) Bring your hands to prayer at heart center and gaze softly at the floor a few feet in front of you. If you wish, reach your branches towards the sky, bringing the palms of the hands together. Keep length in the neck by drawing the shoulder blades down the back.
4) Breathe - slow, deep inhales and exhales, through the nose utilizing ujjayi (victorious) breath. Hold for 3 breaths and up to 1 minute. Release by stepping into Tadasana and repeat on the opposite side.
If you feel unsteady in this pose, stand with your back against a wall or toes resting on the floor.
Interested in taking this pose a little further? Try practicing with your eyes closed, using the sound and vibration of your breath to cultivate balance and stillness.
student of life, practicioner & teacher of yoga