The tree yoga pose, or vrksasana, is a terrific balancing posture. This pose returns results because of its primary focus on mental agility. Balancing asanas require more mental concentration than physical strength or flexibility. So anyone can modify tree yoga pose to suit his or her physiology, yet still benefit from the posture.
About Tree Yoga Pose
The root of Vrksasana, vrksa, means, "tree" in Sanskrit. Yogis raise the spine and stretch themselves as high as they can, balancing on one leg. The benefits of practicing the tree yoga pose are:
- Improved balance
- Reduced sciatica, a pain felt in the buttocks and back of the legs
- Elongated stretch for the ankles, thighs, hips, inner groins, spine, shoulders, and chest
- Toned calf and thigh muscles
- Enhanced clarity and concentration
Step into the Pose
- Start in mountain pose.
- Shift all energy into your right leg as you bring your left leg up.
- Place opposite foot on the inner thigh, as high above the knee and as close to the groins as is comfortable for you. Toes point downward, heel against the thigh.
- Find a focal point straight ahead, and release your foot.
- Raise your arms overhead, shoulder's width apart. If more flexible, go into the full pose with palms touching, elbows straight.
- Hold the pose, keeping your eyes on the point ahead, and breath even. Stay in position for 30-seconds, up to three minutes.
- Release on an exhale of breath, and switch to the other side.
Instructions for Tree Yoga Pose
For more instructions on tree yoga pose, visit Yoga Journal.
Don't raise your arms overhead if you have tight shoulders, a headache, or high blood pressure. Focus your intention on balance, and assume namaste with your hands.
Each person has a different level of flexibility. If your foot doesn't go all the way up your inner thigh, place it where it is most comfortable.
Try practicing tree yoga pose against a wall to build form.
Bring palms together, arms alongside the ears, elbows straight, shoulders down.
Place your heel against the groins along the inner thigh.
If you really want to challenge balance, close your eyes!