Vrksasana, or Tree Pose, is both a balancing pose and a deep hip opener.  This pose can be quite challenging for many students, but with modifications, everyone can find balance and ease in Tree.

Move-It Monday~Yoga Pose: Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Difficulty level: Easy


    • Strengthens feet, ankles, legs, and spine
    • Opens the groins, hips, chest, and shoulders
    • Improves balance
    • Increases stamina

Begin in Tadasana.  Imagine a plumb line drawn down the midline of your body and draw your muscles towards that midline to engage your muscles and improve balance.  Shift your weight to your left leg and draw your right heel to your left ankle with your right toes pressing into the floor.  As you stand well in your left leg, fix your gaze on one spot.  Press down through your tailbone and up through the crown of your head to lengthen the spine.  Keeping your left knee and hip pointing forward, press your right knee out to the right.

If you feel balanced and ready to move deeper into the pose, draw the right foot up your leg onto your calf.  Avoid the tendency to pull the foot up to the knee, which can, over time, be a problem for the knee joint.    Again, breathe deeply while testing your balance in this position.  Press the tailbone towards the floor, press the crown of the head towards the sky to lengthen the spine, engage the abdominal muscles, and press out on the right knee while keeping the left hip and knee pointed forward.

And, finally, if you feel balanced and ready to move deeper into the pose, use your right hand to draw your right foot as high as possible into the left thigh.  Place the foot with the toes pointing towards the floor.  Press the sole of the right foot firmly into the left thigh and resist back into the foot with the inner edge of the left thigh.  Imagine that you are pressing the thigh and foot on opposite sides of the plumb line running vertically through your body.  This action will both keep your foot from sliding down your leg and will steady your balance.

Straighten your standing leg if you bent it while reaching for your right foot.  Once again, press down through your tailbone and inhale up through the crown of your head lengthening your spine.  Draw your shoulder blades onto your back, pressing the tips together and towards the floor.  Your palms can be pressed together at your heart (anjali mudra), or you may lift your arms and test your balance by letting your eyes follow your fingers.

Variation:  If you feel unsteady practicing Tree Pose, stand next to a wall and lightly place your fingertips on the wall to steady yourself while enjoying the hip opening action of the pose.

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