Truth in Tree Pose

Yoga Tree Pose

April’s Yoga Pose of the Month –
Vrksasana

At Amare, we believe that making small changes to your daily routine can reap big, life-changing results. That’s why we’re so excited to feature a monthly yoga pose here on the site, starting with Vrksasana, or Tree Pose.

Pronounced: vrik-SHAH-sun-naa

“Vrksa” = Tree / “Asana” = Pose

Vrksasana is commonly referred to as tree pose in most yoga classes. It is a challenging pose that requires focus and balance, but its many variations make it accessible to yogis of all levels.

The pose invites you to balance on one leg while grounding firmly through the standing foot. Your standing leg becomes the roots of your tree, sending energy through your pelvis into your torso and spine, creating a strong trunk. Your arms reach up like branches extending into the sky.

Philosophy & Origin

In many Indian traditions, trees are symbols of love and devotion. Patient, quiet, and steady, trees live in harmony with the seasons and the circadian rhythm of the world.

Male demonstrating Tree Pose
Vrksasana, or Tree Pose

Tree Pose: Step-By-Step

Begin in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), with your arms at your sides and your weight distributed evenly between both feet.

Start to bring your awareness to your left foot, shifting your weight as you bend your right knee and lift your right foot off the ground.

Reach your right hand down and clasp your inner ankle. Draw your right foot to your left inner thigh.

If the inner thigh is not accessible to you, draw your right foot to meet your left leg below the knee. Do not rest your foot against your knee.

Bring your hands to your hips, adjusting your pelvis into a neutral position. Lengthen your tailbone towards the ground and drop your shoulders away from your ears.

Press the sole of your right foot firmly into your left leg as you bring your hands together in prayer position at your heart center.

Optional: If you feel balanced and you’d like to deepen the tree pose, reach your arms to the sky. Relax your shoulders down your back as you reach and extend through your fingertips.

Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Step back to Tadasana and repeat for the same length of time on opposite side.

Adjustments & Modifications

  • Always feel free to use a wall or chair for extra support. You can also keep the toes of your lifted foot on the ground, resting your heel against the ankle of your standing leg.
  • If you have high blood pressure, keep your hands at your sides or in prayer position at your heart rather than reaching them overhead.
  • For a greater challenge, close your eyes. Practice balancing without using the outside world for reference.

Tips

Before you begin, steady your gaze. It is much easier to balance while looking steadily at one point (usually on the floor 4 or 5 feet in front of you), which will allow you to stay in the pose longer.

Soften your face. Notice if you are biting your lips or clenching your jaw. Soften and let go.

Be patient. Unless you already have a regular yoga practice, you probably don’t spend much time standing on one leg. This is the practice: try, fall, try again.

Let go of expectations. Your tree pose will likely not look exactly like your yoga teacher’s tree pose, and that’s okay.

Root down to rise up. As you root down through your standing foot, notice how tree pose connects you to the earth. Once you feel balanced and confident, play with different arm variations (out wide with elbows bent, reverse prayer, eagle arms) or add a subtle backbend by lifting your heart to the sky.

Tree pose is a chance to experience the magic of yoga. Just as a tree reacts to the seasons, the weather, and other natural elements, your body is constantly responding to subtle changes within you and around you. Don’t expect to be absolutely still and steady. You’ll find balance by being honest about your own limitations and aligning yourself with the truth in your own body.

Namaste

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.