Be the tree. It’s easier said than done when first learning balancing poses. Think of your favorite tree. Imagine that you are this tree and embody all of its qualities
As with any exercise, make sure you are comfortable and wearing loose clothes to allowing for easy movement. It’s important when you begin any exercise to first speak with your doctor to make sure you are physically fit and healthy to do certain posture poses. You can always use blocks or modified versions of poses, until you build the dexterity to hold a pose on your own.
Tree pose will help with balance. Balance poses help us to maintain patience and to find mental focus.
Remember, for beginners, to keep your eyes open until you have practiced and feel comfortable moving deeper into a flow. Breath is key to maintain. Some may be tempted to hold their breath, but your breathing should be fluid. As you move through your pose, remember to extend your breath through the pose, helping to release any tension you may feel. This will also ground you in your pose to be more like the tree. As with all poses, what you do on the left you will also repeat on the right. With time and, you will grow and feel more confident.
Key ideas to remember:
- Stabilize your body
- Extend your reach
- Visualize your image
- Breathe fluidly
- Be the tree
Healing Benefits: Reduces sciatica, and flat feet.
Emotional Aspects: Balance poses help us with patience and mental focus.
Physical Benefits: Tones your inner thighs, calves, and ankles. Stretches your inner thigh and groin.
Find a spot and take root. Tree pose anchors your roots deep in the earth. Your leg is your trunk and your foot is the root system. As you grow from your torso, extend through your arms to the sky. Stay committed to your spot as you feel your roots sinking in.
Begin by standing straight with your feet together. Ground yourself in Tadasana, the standing pose. Slowly start to shift all of your weight onto your left side. Find your stability first and raise one leg off the mat while you bend the knee and place the foot on the inside of the thigh. Open the hip by rotating the leg out until the knee and bent leg are sideways.
Bring the sole of your foot to the ankle or calf if you can’t reach your inner thigh. You can also use a wall or chair for balance.
The hands can be placed above the head with the finger interlocked or with the palms together in prayer position. The arms can be bent or straight.
- Extend up through your sternum and down through your straightened left leg.
- Turn your right knee out as you bring the sole of your right foot to the inner thigh or calf of your left leg.
- Press the sole of your foot and your inner thigh together.
- Steady your gaze and connect with your breathing.
- Gently tuck your tailbone down towards your heel.
- Press your palms together in prayer position at your heart, and then reach them up and over your head.
- Pull the navel back and up. This will create a neutral spine.
- Engaging the toes will tone muscles in the lower legs and help the body gain firm balance.
- Extend a line of energy out through the crown of your head down through the center of your body.
- Hold the pose for five to ten breaths and then repeat on your right side.
For now, just stick with these steps and concentrate on perfecting your tree. When you are ready, you’ll know it’s time to go deeper and practice more advanced variations of this pose.
Never-ever place the foot on the knee as this can cause injury. Feel free to use your hand to guide your ankle up so you can place your heel against the upper thigh.
The tailbone has a tendency to turn out. Be aware of this and tuck it forward.