Learn character from trees, values from roots and change from leaves
~~ Tanseen Hameed
tree “vrksa” + pose “asana”
Tree pose is such a recognizable, “hey, look, I am doing yoga!” type of pose. I love it and what it does for your well-being.
Tree offers a great opportunity to explore your sense of balance while experiencing the calming and meditative benefits of standing one leg. Really, it is calming. Trust me.
One of the key tips for Tree is to focus on a single point (dristi) that is preferably not moving. Don’t worry if you sway or stumble. Trees are alive, they are constantly moving and growing while also experiencing moments of stillness. Some days you may feel like a willow or others day, an oak. You are free to feel how you wish to feel.
Some of the benefits…
of Vrksasana include the sensation of lengthening the spine, feeling your navel draw in, and the relaxation of your shoulders to allow the your heart to open. Vrksasana builds strength in the ankles and calves, and tones the abdominal muscles.
So here’s how you get into Vrksasana…
- Start in Tadasana (mountain pose) standing with your weight evenly distributed and hands by your sides
- Begin by shifting your weight into your right foot then bend your left knee, opening your left hip
- Draw your left foot either to your ankle, calf or inner thigh (avoid your knee)
- Bring your palms together in prayer and focus on an unmoving point in front of you
- Ground through your right foot and feel the samana energy between your inner thigh and the sole of your left foot
- Inhale as you grow your tree by allowing your tree limbs to extend to the sky
- Rotate your palms inward to face each other and stay in this posture for a few breaths
You can also play with arm variations to discover your ability to balance in this posture. Some arm variations include:
- hands in prayer
- grow your tree by raising your limbs to the sky, shoulders relax
- field goal arms, heart forward
- bend your tree by lowering one limb to bent knee and sway torso towards in that direction
whichever hand variation you choose, slowly lower your hands back to your heart and release your bent knee to arrive in Tadasana. Shake it out and repeat on the opposite side!
If you’re interested in other tips…
- Use a block with your standing leg for a hybrid supportive and challenging approach
- Practice with your back against a wall for extra support or use a chair next to your standing-leg for extra support.
- For the penultimate challenge, close your eyes.
- Take your time and soak up this posture and all of it’s yumminess so you can then say “hey, look, I am doing yoga!”
YJ Live NYC 2017