I love trees and feel the most at ease, grounded, and connected when I’m hiking in the woods. I love trees so much that I even dressed up as one for Halloween in college (picture purposefully excluded). My connection to trees extends to my love of Vrksasana, or tree pose, in yoga. In its true sense, this posture teaches you to feel rooted to the earth, yet just as wind does to a tree, it teaches you to maintain balance even when a slight shift may cause you to sway or wobble.
Not only does tree pose enhance your ability to balance by strengthening your calves and thighs, it’s also a great hip opener, and stretches the chest and shoulders. There are many fun variations in this posture and a lot of dynamic ways to transition into and out of this posture — come to one of my classes to explore this posture further!
Tree pose can be accessible to anybody. There are many modifications and stages to this posture, so yogis can choose what is right for them.
Step 1: Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) at the top of your mat. (You can also modify this pose by standing against a wall.)
Step 2: Place your hands on your hips. Begin to shift your weight into your left foot.
Step 3: Lift your right foot and place it either: against your inner left ankle, inner left calf, or inner left thigh. Be cautious not to place your foot against your inner left knee.
Step 4: Bring your hands into Anjali Mudra pose (prayer pose).
Step 5: Set your drishti (focus point) about four to five feet in front of you.
Step 6: If you feel ready, you can accessorize with numerous arm variations. Some of my favorite are to open my arms and bring my palms to touch overhead for a deep shoulder stretch or take reverse prayer for a heart opener. You can also close your eyes to really challenge your balance!
Step 7: Step back into Tadasana and switch sides.
Feel free to comment below with any questions or come to my all levels class on Tuesday evenings from 6:45 – 7:45pm in Takoma Park!