Practicing balance poses in yoga, such as tree pose, offers us not only the opportunity to gain physical steadiness, but also mental and emotional perseverance, poise and a sense of ease. So, lets find your Vrksasana (* Vrksa = Tree, *Asana= pose) and discover one of the most common misalignments I observe in my students. Let's see if you can you figure out what it is when you look at the picture below...
If you guessed that the foot should not be pressed against the knee you are correct!
Here are some cues for doing Vrksasana correctly:
❇Standing in Tadasana (mountain pose), place your feet parallel and hip width apart
❇Extend your spine tall and fix your gaze forward at a focal point, your drishti. Engage your core muscles as you shift your weight to your right foot, keeping the right inner foot firm to the floor and bend your left knee
❇On your next inhalation, raise your left foot and place the sole on your ankle, calf, mid thigh, or upper thigh with your toes pointing down. AVOIDING YOUR KNEE
❇Keep your gaze at one point as you breathe
❇Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Pull the navel back and up to keep the spine neutral. |Hips are squared forward. Keep pelvis pointing straight ahead. Draw your shoulder blades down your back, creating space between your ears and shoulders, it’s up to you what you fill that space with. Firmly press the sole of your left foot against the right inner thigh
❇Energetically rise from the inner arch of the right foot up towards your inner groin line. Keep a light contraction in your core muscles
❇Press your hands together at your heart center in Anjali Mudra. Gaze softly at your drishti, soften your face, soften your eyes, soften your mind. As you inhale, slowly raise your arms overhead with your hands still in prayer. Keep the shoulder blades from rising to avoid tension in the neck. Continue to press your right foot lightly into the ground as the crown of the head lifts. Stay here for several breaths
❇With each inhale, draw energy up the standing leg & allow your entire body to lengthen. With each exhale, relax in the pose without loosing length or stability.
❇Inhale, expanding chest & feeling lightness of the upper body….exhale, grounding down more.
❇As you exit, exhale and slowly lower your arms and softly place your left foot on the floor into Mountain Pose. Pause to shake the right foot and repeat on the other side.
Before you go, check out this modified version of tree pose that Maria is demonstrating utilizing a block for support to make this pose more accessible!
Let us know what you think in the comments and show us your tree on instagram and tag us!