This posture replicates the graceful, steady stance of a tree. Unlike most yoga poses, the Tree Pose requires keeping our eyes open in order to maintain body balance. If you’ve ever tripped off a curb or slipped on a patch of ice, you probably understand the benefit of having a good sense of balance. Practicing balancing poses in yoga, such as Tree Pose, will help you gain both physical and mental steadiness and poise.
What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
This asana must be performed on an empty stomach. You must have your meals at least four to six hours before you practice yoga. You must also make sure that your bowels are empty. Due to the balancing nature of the posture, do not practice Tree Pose if you are currently experiencing headaches, insomnia, low blood pressure, or if you are lightheaded and/or dizzy. Those with high blood pressure should not raise their arms overhead in the pose.
How To Do The Vrikshasana : Step-by-Step Instructions
- Stand tall and straight with arms by the side of your body.
- Bend your right knee and place the right foot high up on your left thigh. The sole of the foot should be placed flat and firmly near the root of the thigh.
- Make sure that your left leg is straight. Find your balance.
- Once you are well balanced, take a deep breath in, gracefully raise your arms over your head from the side, and bring your palms together in ‘Namaste’ mudra (hands-folded position).
- Look straight ahead in front of you, at a distant object. A steady gaze helps maintain a steady balance.
- Ensure that your spine is straight. Your entire body should be taut, like a stretched elastic band. Keep taking in long deep breaths. With each exhalation, relax the body more and more. Just be with the body and the breath with a gentle smile on your face.
- With slow exhalation, gently bring down your hands from the sides. You may gently release the right leg.
- Stand tall and straight as you did at the beginning of the posture. Repeat this pose with the left leg off the ground on the right thigh.
Here are a couple of tips to help you stand up as tall as a tree:
- Take your time. As with any balancing pose, it’s often easier to come into the pose slowly and with awareness. If you enter the pose quickly, you are more likely to lose your balance, which makes it more difficult to re-gain your balance once it’s been lost.
- Mountain Pose (Tadasana) provides the structural foundation for Tree Pose. Thoroughly review the instructions for Mountain Pose before practicing Tree Pose.
- Work the pose from the ground up. Balance your weight entirely across your standing foot — across the inner and outer ankles, big toe and baby toe. Then, bring your awareness to the shin, calf, and thigh of your standing leg. Find alignment in your hips, tailbone, pelvis, and belly; and then in your collarbones, shoulder blades, arms, and neck. Extend the pose through the crown of your head. When you are ready, you can then raise your arms overhead.
- Never rest the foot of your raised leg directly on your knee or at the side of your knee joint!
If your raised foot tends to slide down the inner standing thigh, put a folded sticky mat between the raised-foot sole and the standing inner thigh.
Modifications & Variations
Try these simple changes to adapt the pose to your current abilities:
- If you are unable to bring your foot to your thigh, rest your foot alongside your calf muscle or the ankle of your standing leg, instead. Rest the toes of your raised foot on the floor if you need extra assistance balancing.
- If you are very unsteady, try practicing the pose with your back against a wall for extra support. Alternatively, you can place a chair next to the standing-leg side of your body and rest your hand on the back of the chair for extra support.
- For a greater challenge when your arms are overhead, close your eyes. Practice balancing without using the outside world for reference.
Benefits Of The Vrikshasana
Vrikshasana has numerous benefits. Take a look at the good it can do to your body, if practiced regularly.
- It strengthens the spine while improving both balance and poise.
- It improves and aids neuro-muscular coordination.
- It tones the leg muscles while making the ligaments and tendons of the feet stronger.
- The knees become stronger, and the hip joints are loosened.
- The eyes, inner ears, and shoulders are also strengthened in this pose.
- It relieves those suffering from sciatica and reduces flat feet.
- It makes you stable, flexible, and patient. It enhances concentration and activates all the mental faculties.
- This pose helps to deepen the thorax.
By regularly practicing balancing poses, you gain concentration, focus, poise, coordination — and a steady and balanced mind. Tree Pose connects you to the earth, as you root down through your standing foot. As you balance in the pose, feel the slight and gentle sway of your body. Just like a tree in the breeze, you’ll grow in confidence, standing tall as you face life’s challenges with grace and ease.
For Better Understanding Watch this Video
Featured Image Source