Tree Balance Pose - Vrksasana


Vrksasana
(Tree Pose)

(vrik-SHAHS-anna)
vrksa = tree

This balancing posture, once learned, give freedom to the torso and a deeper understanding of the body's dimensions and development of Mountain Posture.

 


Benefits


Strengthens thighs, calves, ankles, and spine

Stretches the groins and inner thighs, chest and shoulders

Improves sense of balance

Relieves sciatica and reduces flat feet

Not only balance, this pose also brings a complete sense of contentment.

Tree strengthens the length of the feet and legs as well as the spine.

This pose may be used for those who suffer from sciatica or flat feet.

It is also a gentle pelvis and chest opener.

Contraindications/Cautions


Headache

Insomnia

Low blood pressure

High blood pressure: Don't raise arms overhead

Performing the Asana


Stand in Tadasana. Shift your weight slightly onto the left foot, keeping the inner foot firm to the floor, and bend your right knee. Reach down with your right hand and clasp your right ankle.

Draw your right foot up and place the sole against the inner left thigh; if possible, press the right heel into the inner left groin, toes pointing toward the floor. The center of your pelvis should be directly over the left foot.

Rest your hands on the top rim of your pelvis. Make sure the pelvis is in a neutral position, with the top rim parallel to the floor.

Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Firmly press the right foot sole against the inner thigh and resist with the outer left leg. Press your hands together in Anjali Mudra. Gaze softly at a fixed point in front of you on the floor about 4 or 5 feet away.

Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Step back to Tadasana with an exhalation and repeat for the same length of time with the legs reversed.

Anatomical Focus


Legs/ Hips

Core Muscles

Mind/ Brain

Modify Your Practice


You can stand with your back braced against a wall if you feel unsteady in this pose.

Foot Placement:
Over the ankle
Just above the kneecap
At the meeting of thigh and groin
To the hipbone in half-lotus
In a half-lotus squat towards the floor
Kneeling with the bent leg in half-lotus and its knee resting on the floor while the other leg bends open to the opposite side

Arm Placement:
At the hips
Above the head, as in classic Mountain
Above the head, palms touching flatly
Above the head, palms touching with the fingers crossed – only the pointer fingers extend
In namaste, prayer position

Variations


Stretch your arms straight up toward the ceiling, parallel to each other, palms facing, or touch the palms together forming an inverted V with the arms.

For a deeper challenge, practice Tree Balance Pose with closed eyes.

Complimentary Poses


Baddha Konasana - Bound Angle Posture
Trikonasana - Triangle
Virabhadrasana II - Warrior II

Tips for Beginners


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.

Deepen the Pose


As with Mountain, you can challenge your balance by practicing this pose with your eyes closed. Learn to balance without any reference to the outer environment.

Partner Practice


If you are practicing Virasana with arms raised overhead, a partner can help you lift and lengthen your arms. First raise your arms perpendicular to the floor. Have your partner stand behind you and press inward against your outer upper arms, then lift your outer arms toward the ceiling. At the same time, draw your inner arms downward, from the wrists to the tops of the shoulders.