Tree Pose (Vrkasana) – [vrik-shahs-anna]

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Tree Pose (Vrkasana) – [vrik-shahs-anna] Pose | Standing

Tree Pose

Tree Pose II

Balancing postures are very literal in that they develop our physical balance. In addition, they assist in developing concentration, poise and awareness. In the nature of a tree, the standing leg grounds itself into the earth like roots of a tree as the upper body lengthens upward like the branches. Ancient yogis of India were known to stand in this posture for many days on the banks of the Ganges River while meditating and chanting. The Yogi's say that if you can hold Tree Pose with comfort and ease, it mirrors your emotional and mental states.

  1. Stand in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) for as long as it takes to gain a sense of balance and grounding through the legs. Find a place to focus your gaze upon, without straining the eyes. Keep your focus and breath steady as you continue.
  2. Shift your weight onto the left leg. Slowly bend your right leg, and place the soul of the foot onto the inner side of the standing leg. You can place the foot on the inside of the ankle, calf or thigh. The important aspect of this pose is balance not where your foot rests. To reach the inner thigh, guide your foot upward with your hand. Press the foot into the thigh to keep from slipping.
  3. Press through the foot of the standing leg, and as you breath to lengthen your torso up. Bring your hands together in front of your chest into Namaste (universal prayer position). Allow the breath to flow naturally. If you feel stable, slowly raise your hands into the air above your head and lengthen the spine upward.
  4. Concentration is key; hold for as long as you feel comfortable. When you are ready to release, bring your foot back down to the ground in a smooth flowing movement. Alternate sides and repeat. Notice if are more or less stable on this side.

Benefits:

  • Develops awareness, balance, concentration, and poise
  • Revitalizes spine as well as the body and mind
  • Strengthens entire leg, ankles and feet
  • Increase flexibility in the thighs and hips

Cautionary Notes/Modifications

  • If you find it difficult to balance, place your fingertips against a wall or on the back of a chair. Standing completely against the wall for support is another option.
  • Call upon your breath as a source of strength for this grounding and quieting asana.
  • Traditionally, we should begin with our less dominant leg to stand on
  • Standing on one leg is very challenging, and we must always remember to honor where we are in every moment. If you fall out of the posture, it's okay, smile and try again!
  • If you feel very stable try closing your eyes while maintaining the pose