Asana of the Month: Vrksasana/Tree Pose

Tree-Pose-OutsideTrees are magical! Trees inspire me to just be me. You probably know we are deeply connected with trees, as they give us the oxygen we need and we give them back the carbon dioxide they need. What can we learn from trees? They have roots that connect them to the earth. Our body is like a tree in many ways. Imagine your feet are like roots that connect you to the earth. Your legs and body are like the trunk of a tree, strong and steady. Your arms are like the limbs of a tree stretching out from the trunk. Remember the qualities of a tree as you do vrikshasana. Stand tall and deeply grounded/connected to the earth.

Vrksasana is a balancing pose that requires focus and concentration. If you have strong roots, then you will be a strong tree.

Some Benefits of Tree Pose
• improves sense of balance & focus
• strengthens & tones leg muscles, ankles & feet
• opens muscles of chest & shoulders
• stabilizes core muscles
• calms the mind

Wow! So, which tree do you feel like today? Are you steady and strong like an oak tree? Are you a grounded willow tree with swaying branches in the wind? Just take 5 minutes out of your day and feel the qualities and benefits of being in tree pose.

Tree Pose with open tree arms

Tree Pose with open tree arms

Tree Pose with boxfold arms

Tree Pose with boxfold arms

Tree Pose with reverse prayer arms

Tree Pose with reverse prayer arms

Simple Steps for Vrksasana:

1. Start in tadasana and root your feet to the earth spreading your toes. Feel the triangle of support from your big toe metatarsal to your outside foot metatarsal & to your heel. Imagine this strong triangle support.
2. Shift your weight onto your left leg & bend your right knee placing your foot at the top of your inner thigh. Your right foot is pointing down & your right knee is turned out to the side.
3. Rest your hands on top of the pelvis checking to feel it is parallel with the floor.
4. Bring hands into namaste and press hands together as you press your heel and foot into the inside leg. Feel your balance.
5. Look straight ahead & fix your gaze on a point or distant object. Breathe in and feel yourself getting taller. Breathe out and feel your roots press into the earth.
6. Stay in tree for 5-10 breaths. Repeat on the other side.

Modifications:

• Stand next to a wall or chair to help with balance if needed.
• Place the foot on the inside of the calf instead of higher up on the inside thigh.

Becoming Tree Series:

tree pose with hands in namaste – 3 breaths
tree pose with arms elevated – 3 breaths
tree pose with open branch arms – 3 breaths
tree pose with waving branch arms – 3 breaths
tree pose with boxfold arms behind back – 3 breaths
tree pose with reverse prayer arms – 3 breaths
tree pose with open branch arms – 3 breaths
tree pose with arms elevated – 3 breaths
tree pose with hands in namaste – 3 breaths

About the Instructor:

AndreaArbutusAndréa loves trees and regularly hugs trees. Trees inspire her in many different ways. Walking in the forest is one of her favourite things to do. Doing vrksasana among the trees is simply a wonderful feeling of peacefulness. Andréa is filled with gratitude for the teachings and for all the teachers who passed on the teachings. Her daily yoga practice keeps her grounded and deeply connected to the earth.

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© Salt Spring Centre of Yoga 2017