vrksa = tree
Tree Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions
Stand with the bases of your big toes touching, heels slightly apart (so that your second toes are parallel). Lift and spread your toes and the balls of your feet, then lay them softly down on the floor. Rock back and forth and side to side. Gradually reduce this swaying to a standstill, with your weight balanced evenly on the feet.Step 3
Shift your weight slightly onto the left foot, keeping the inner foot firm to the floor, and bend your right knee. Reach down with your right hand and clasp your right ankle.
Draw your right foot up and place the sole against the inner left thigh; if possible, press the right heel into the inner left groin, toes pointing toward the floor. The center of your pelvis should be directly over the left foot.
Rest your hands on the top rim of your pelvis. Make sure the pelvis is in a neutral position, with the top rim parallel to the floor.
Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Step back to Tadasana with an exhalation and repeat for the same length of time with the legs reversed.
Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Firmly press the right foot sole against the inner thigh and resist with the outer left leg. Press your hands together in prayer, also know as anjali mudra. Gaze softly at a fixed point in front of you on the floor about 4 or 5 feet away.
Contraindications and Cautions
- Low blood pressure
- High blood pressure: Don't raise arms overhead
Modifications and Props
You can stand with your back braced against a wall if you feel unsteady in this pose.
Deepen the Pose
As with Tadasana , you can challenge your balance by practicing this pose with your eyes closed. Learn to balance without any reference to the outer environment.
- Strengthens thighs, calves, ankles, and spine
- Stretches the groins and inner thighs, chest and shoulders
- Improves sense of balance
- Relieves sciatica and reduces flat feet
If bringing the foot up to the inner thigh is too intense draw below the knee. Being mindful that we never place the foot on the knee itself.
If it is accessible draw the foot into a half lotus. Once you are stable then find your bind. This variation includes a nice stretch in the shoulder.
This variation allows you to being exploring tree pose a bit more by drawing the leg into half lotus. Once the leg is in half lotus imagine drawing the knee back by activating the hip flexor. You eventually want both knees in one line. With time the foot should stay in place which should allow you to bring both hands to the heart center in Anjali Mudra.