Tree Pose  -Vrksasana

Step by Step

  • From Mountain pose.
  • Find your Drishti: Gaze at a point at eye level, to help you to keep your balance.
  • Shift your weight onto your left leg. Ground through the four corners of your left foot. 
  • Bend your right knee, reach down with your right hand and clasp your ankle.
  • Bend your right knee and place your right foot on the inside of your left leg either above or below your knee joint. Your knee is pointing out to the side.
  • Press your foot against your inner thigh, and your inner thigh back into your foot.
  • Keep your core muscles engaged.
  • Firm your left hip in, lengthen your spine, soften your shoulders and tuck your chin slightly in and back
  • Bring your hands in front of your heart in Anjali Mudra (prayer position) or you can lift your arms up to the ceiling. Hands can remain shoulder-width apart.
  • Stay in this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Lower your leg and arms down as you exhale, and take a moment in Tadasana.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Beginners tips

  • Keep the knee of your standing leg soft - do not lock the knee especially if you are hypermobile.
  • To help with your stability and balance:
  • Spread through the toes and press the foot firmly into the floor but try not to clench your foot so that it can make small movements to help keep your balance.
  • Engage the muscles of the leg, hips, glutes
  • Maintain an active core.
  • Read more balance tips in Working on your balance.

Benefits

  • Improves balance.
  • Opens the hips.
  • Strengthens the ankles, legs and spine.
  • Lengthens the spine.
  • Improves focus / concentration.

Watch out for

  • Keep your shoulder blades on your back, spread through your collarbones, and release your shoulders away from your ears.
  • Try to stay relaxed. Focus on an even breath and finding the balance between steadiness and ease in the pose.

Variations

  • Add an extra challenge to your balance by raising your gaze to the ceiling or by closing your eyes.
  • Try Tree pose standing on an uneven surface such as a folded blanket or folded mat - this will challenge your balance and strengthen the small muscles in the ankles and feet.
  • You can explore a bound tree pose by bringing your right foot into Half Lotus and wrapping the right arm behind you, hooking your big toe with thumb and forefingers. From here you can fold forward into Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Standing Forward Bend).