Pose Of The Month: Tree Pose (May)
Balance and stability are essential to living a fulfilling and joyous life. We strive for work life balance, a balanced diet, a consistent health routine, balance with family, friends and our social lives. In this whirlwind we call life, achieving balance is a moment to moment challenge. The Tree Pose (Vrksasana) is a pose that teaches balance while building tremendous inner and outer strength. This pose allows us to achieve a sense of calm and stability in our everyday life off the mat.
- Begin standing in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), with your arms at your sides. Distribute your weight evenly across both feet, grounding down equally through your inner ankles, outer ankles, big toes, and baby toes.
- Shift your weight to your left foot. Bend your right knee, then reach down and clasp your right inner ankle. Use your hand to draw your right foot alongside your inner left thigh. Do not rest your foot against your knee, only above or below it. Adjust your position so the centre of your pelvis is directly over your left foot. Then, adjust your hips so your right hip and left hip are aligned.
- Rest your hands on your hips and lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Then, press your palms together in prayer position at your chest, with your thumbs resting on your sternum.
- Fix your gaze gently on one, unmoving point in front of you.
- Draw down through your left foot. Press your right foot into your left thigh, while pressing your thigh equally against your foot.
- Attempt to keep the front of both sides of your pelvis facing the front of your mat (think car headlines point straight ahead).
- Inhale as you extend your arms overhead, reaching your fingertips to the sky. Rotate your palms inward to face each other. If your shoulders are more flexible, you can press your palms together in prayer position, overhead.
- Hold for up to one minute. To release the pose, step back into Mountain Pose. Repeat for the same amount of time on the opposite side.
- Improves balance and stability in the legs
- Helps one to achieve balance in other aspects of life
- Strengthens the ligaments and tendons of the feet
- Assists the body in establishing pelvic stability
- Strengthens the bones of the hips and legs due to the weight-bearing nature of the pose
- Builds confidence and self-esteem
Modifications to Try:
- If you have trouble balancing, try practicing with the support of a wall.
- If lifting the leg to the opposite thigh is difficult, try keeping your toes on the floor.
- Gain new perspective on this pose by trying while laying on your back.
This pose improves your sense of balance and coordination. Regular practice will improve your focus and concentration in all areas of your life. Whether you're having a hectic day or a stressful week, try doing the Tree pose to ground yourself and let us know what you think!