Tree Pose AKA Vrksasana, is ideally the first standing balance pose that is taught in a yoga class, as it is the simplest. The Carousel’s resident yogini, Trudy Vains, takes a deep dive into its benefits, how to best conduct the pose and its various levels of difficulty, which makes it easy for all to carry out and enjoy!
“When entering Tree Pose, try not to be too hard on yourself,” advises Trudy. “Expect to sway in the breeze like a tree, as you will be balancing on one leg, which is definitely not easy at first. In fact, it’s harder than it looks! However, with practice, persistence and confidence, as well as starting this pose in the easiest variation, will allow you to get the hang of it pretty quickly.”
The Benefits Of Tree Pose
“Tree Pose strengthens your legs and core, while at the same time opening your hips and stretching your inner thighs and groin muscles,” explains Trudy. “Tree pose helps to build better balance, which is one of the key aspects of yoga. This is of enormous benefits for many day to day activities. So with a giggle in mind (be prepared to come in and out of the pose a lot as you get the gist of it), let’s try!”
Tree Pose – The How-To!
- Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart. Ensure your weight is evenly distributed across all four corners of your feet.
- Keep your knees slightly bent.
- Engage your core, as though you were pulling your belly button to spine.
- Shift your body weight onto your right foot.
- Bend your left knee and bring the sole of your left foot to your upper right inner thigh.
- Press the sole of tour foot into your thigh, which will assist with balance.
- Keep your left knee open.
- When you feel steady, bring your hands together at your heart chakra (centre of your heart)
- Fix your gaze (Drishti) on something in front of you that is at eye level.
- Take deep breaths in and out through your nose.
- Remain in this position and repeat for five rounds of deep breathing in and out through the nose.
How To Exit The Pose
- Engage your core bring your belly button to spine.
- Release your left foot to the floor.
- It’s really important that you keep your mind focused in this pose, because when you start thinking about other things, then this is when you may start to sway or feel like you might fall over.
- Find your peace in Mountain Pose, or Tadasana for a moment. Stand with your feet hip width apart, with your weight distributed equally on all four corners of your feet, and close your eyes. Relax arms, hands, jaw and eyes. When you breath in, feel the coolness at your nostrils and when you breath out feel the warmth at the inside of your nostrils.
- When ready, do tree pose on the other side. It’s very important to even out both sides in yoga practice, and you will find that one side gives more balance, stretch, movement, whatever it may be.
Don’t forget to come into Tadasana again, close your eyes, relax, ground yourself.
Variations for foot placement
If you don’t want to place your foot at inner thigh, lowering to mid shin, or just above your ankle.
Variations for hand placement
Keep hands on your hips to help with balance.
Raise arms up and reach fingertips to the ceiling, if you wish for harder variation.
No Balance? Swaying in the breeze?
- Don’t worry, use a wall!
- You can keep one hand on the wall while trying out the leg stability and balance if that feels good.
Benefits of Tree Pose!
- Cultivates focus
- Grounding and earthing
- Brings deeper breathing
- Helps with balance
- Boosts self confidence
- It can help the body in establishing pelvic stability
- Helps with strength and stability in legs
- Builds strength and stamina
- Creates trust in oneself
Always listen to your body. There is no need to go straight for the hard version. It’s totally your practice and whatever you can do on that day is what you should be doing.
NAMASE, TRUDY X
Always be kind to yourself and ground yourself with this pose.