How to do Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)

If you want to work on your balance vrikshasana (tree pose) is perfect for you. This simple pose is commonly practiced in yoga sequences. No matter how good your balance is now, you can do a version of this posture in your practice. When you try the pose, be aware that the key to being able to balance is stability in the core. So, engage your core to make balancing a little easier. It’s okay to use a chair or wall to help you find your balance when you’re first starting out.

Before we look at how to do vrikshasana, let’s look at the benefits and contraindications of the pose.

Benefits of Vrikshasana

  • Strengthens your feet and ankles
  • Strengthens your core
  • Improves balance
  • Tones the leg muscles
  • Strengthens the glutes
  • Stabilizes the pelvis

Contraindications of vrikshasana

  • Hip replacement
  • Vertigo
  • Migraines
  • Arthritis in the knees or hips

How to do vrikshasana (Tree Pose)

Stand on your mat in mountain pose. Feel your weight evenly distributed on the soles of your feet. You’ll start by balancing on the right leg.

Root your right leg into the ground and shift your weight to that leg. Feel the weight distribute across all four corners of your right foot.

Engage your quadriceps pulling your kneecap upward.

Externally rotate your left hip and lift your left foot. Put the toes of your left foot on the floor and the heel of your left foot on your right ankle.

Bring your hands together in front of you in prayer.

Your left knee should be pointed out to the left side.

Draw your belly firmly in and engage your core.

Stand up tall by lifting up through the crown of your head.

This is the first stage of tree pose. If you have difficulty balancing, you can stay here for five breaths.

When you’re ready, you can bring your foot up and rest it on the side of your calf for more of a challenge.

If you want even more of a challenge, you can bring your foot up to the inside of your right thigh.

Don’t rest your foot on the knee joint. That can stress your knee. You should only put your foot either above or below the knee.

Stay here for five breaths. Slowly come out of the pose and repeat it on the other side.

For more detailed instructions about how to do tree pose, watch this video with Joseph.

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