Tree posture: how to practice Vrksasana


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Vrksasana (Tree Position) teaches you to simultaneously press down and feel rooted as you reach as high as the branches of a mighty tree. In this posture, you find a feeling of anchorage through the strength of the standing leg. Bringing the sole of the foot opposite the edge or thigh challenges your balance. Continuously engage your ankles, legs, and core and observe what small movements your body can make to help you maintain balance.

By strengthening your legs, buttocks, core, and back, Tree Pose can improve your posture and alignment, which is especially helpful if you sit all day.

What makes this posture special is that it teaches you to explore your connection to your body. Maybe one day the raised foot will be placed closer to the groin. Maybe another day, leave your foot partially on the ground to keep your balance. Be honest with your limits and learn to honor what your body needs on a given day.

Tree posture basics

Sanskrit: Vrksasana (vrik-SHAHS-anna)

Type of inn: Standing posture

Targets: Lower body

Why we love: “One thing I caught along the way and repeated often is that stiffer trees are more likely to be cut down in a storm; trees that can bend in the wind are less likely to break. I love remembering this at Vrksasana, “says Sage Rountree, author and co-owner of Carolina Yoga Company. “.

Become a member today to access it Yoga Diary ‘s Pose Library, which combines expert knowledge from top teachers with video instruction, anatomy knowledge, variations, and more for dozens of postures, including Tree Pose. It is a resource to which you will return again and again.

Put benefits

This standing posture can help improve your balance as well as your postural and body awareness. In addition to its physical benefits, this posture can help calm and relax the mind, relieve anxious thoughts and feelings.

Laying the tree: step-by-step instructions

The woman demonstrates the position of the tree
(Photo: Christopher Dougherty)
  1. Stand in Tadasana. Stretch your toes, press your feet onto the carpet, and strengthen your leg muscles. Lift the front hip points toward the lower ribs to gently lift the lower abdomen.
  2. Inhale deeply, lifting your chest and exhale as you stretch your shoulder blades down your back. Look forward to a constant point of view.
  3. Place your hands on your hips and raise your right foot over your left thigh or edge. Avoid contact with the knee.
  4. Press your right foot and left leg against each other.
  5. Check that the pelvis is flat and square forward.
  6. When you feel calm, place your hands on the Anjali Mudra in your heart or stretch your arms over your head like branches reaching for the sun.
  7. Hold for several breaths, then step back to the mountain position and repeat on the other side.

Teaching of Vrksasana

These tips will help protect your students from injury and help them have the best posture experience:

  • Place your foot anywhere on the inside of your standing leg except the knee. Pressing your knee can destabilize your joint and your posture.
  • Imagine that your body is centered on an invisible plumb line that falls from the crown of your head, through the center of your torso and pelvis, and directly to the ground below you. Stay centered around this plumb line even if you’re only on one leg. To do this, strengthen the trunk of the tree, the core, and strengthen the standing leg by embracing the muscles inside the thigh toward the midline.
  • Feel free to use a wall or chair to stay in position. Even touching a hand lightly on the wall or even being close to a wall gives you confidence in case you lose your balance.

Variant: Posture of the tree with the foot on the calf

The female shows a variation in the posture of the tree
(Photo: Christopher Dougherty)

If you struggle to maintain balance on the tree, place your foot on the calf instead of the inside of the thigh. You can also keep your toes on the ground and your heel just above the opposite ankle.

Preparatory postures

Tadasana (mountain posture)

Baddha Konasana (bound angle posture)

Utthita Trikonasana (Position of the elongated triangle)

Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)

Counter posts

Tadasana (mountain posture)

Prasarita Padottanasana I (forward bend with wide legs)

Balasana (child’s posture)

Become a member today to access our exclusive pose library, including our full Tree Pose guide, which includes video instructions, anatomy knowledge, and additional position variations. You will also have access to content, sequences and classes for members only, a subscription to Yoga diary magazine, meal plans and recipes, and more.



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