Pose Of The Week: Tree Pose

Pose Of The Week: Tree Pose

 As our minds slowly turn from sunny beach holidays to the Christmas season, we may find ourselves feeling stressed and anxious. Tree Pose helps to calm the mind and improve concentration…

Tree Pose / Vrksasana 

Vriksa = Tree      Asana = Pose

Tree

What is Tree Pose?

Tree pose is a single leg balance that activates the leg and foot muscles and creates lengthening and opening in the body. This pose strengthens the standing leg muscles and ankle tendons which is key during the winter months when the ground begins to become icy. Stronger tendons mean less broken ankles if you go over on the ice! Tree pose opens up the hips and encourages extension through the spine. When carrying out this pose I always give people a range of options for placement of the arms – out to the side of the body, above the head with the hands clasped and index fingers pointing up, hands to the heart centre. Whatever you are feeling on that particular day – there are so many options!

What are the benefits of Tree Pose?

  • Strengthens the feet, leg and ankle muscles.
  • Improves balance.
  • Improves concentration.
  • Opens the hip joints.
  • Improves confidence by encouraging students to stand tall.
  • Lengthens the spine.

How to do Tree Pose

  1. Begin in a standing position (Tadasana).
  2. Transfer the weight onto the right leg and ensure the weight is evenly distributed along all four points of the foot.
  3. Lift the left foot, bending the knee and rotating the hip outwards. The left foot cna be rested on the right ankle, or anywhere on the side of the right leg EXCEPT the knee joint (this can cause excess pressure on the knee which can cause injury).
  4. Really engage the core here and draw up through the upper body, lengthening through the spine.
  5. Slowly lift the arms to their chosen position – hearts centre, out the the side or above the head.
  6. Hold the pose for 5 breaths, fixing the gaze on a still point in front.
  7. Slowly lower the left leg and repeat on the other leg.

 

Areas for caution

  • Balance – If you find it difficult to balance during this pose then you can use the wall for support.
  • Dizziness – If you experience dizziness or vertigo during this pose, then come out straight away and rest in Childs Pose.
  • High Blood Pressure – avoid lifting the hands above the head, keeping the hands in prayer position is a great alternative.
  • Ankle Joint – Refrain from holding this pose for too long, especially if you feel discomfort in the ankle. You can always come in and out of the pose several times rather than just holding it.