Vrikshasana comes from Sanskrit, where Vriksa means tree and Asana means Posture. This the Standing Balance, the Tree pose.
It looks simple, balancing on one leg, while the arms are extended up. But is more than that. It is physically challenging for the hips, balance, ankles, and feet and it is also challenging for the focus required.
Every day our balance is always different so your tree pose will be not the same depending on your mood, your concentration and even the hours you have slept.
How To Do it :
Start from Tadasana - Mountain pose, arms by the side of your body, shoulders neutral, strong legs, feeling grounded, feet arches active, abs muscles firm. Take a few breaths here to keep your focus in the present moment.
Slightly bend your left knee and turn to it to the left side, keeping your hips even ( you can see from your waistline whether one hip is higher than the other ).
Keep your right leg strong, your right toes gripping the mat, your right foot arch active, lifting your knee cap and firming your thigh muscles.
Place your left foot in your most comfortable position without changing your hip position and your balance. You can choose to place it against your ankle or shin ( low down or further up your leg ), against your inner thigh ( low down or further up your thigh). Take a few breaths here, keeping your balance. You can try any of those places and choose what suits you
Gaze or Dristhi. Look forward at eye level, with a soft and steady gaze , If your balance is good you can gaze up to your thumbs.
Hands position. Place your hands at your hips or with palms together in anjali mudra ( prayer hands position ) in front of your heart centre, or move your arms up with palms apart or palms together. Take a few breaths here.
Keep your balance and enjoy your tree pose
You can stay in position for 5 breaths or 1 minute
Change to other leg
Benefits of the Vrikshasana / Tree Pose
This pose leaves you in a state of rejuvenation.
It strengthens the ankles and feet
It brings balance and equilibrium to your mind.
It helps improve concentration.
It makes your legs strong, improves balance and opens the hips.
Helps those who are suffering from sciatica - from the leg lift
It opens your hips and stretches your inner thighs and groin.
It is a heart and shoulders opener depending on the various hand positions
Its great for your lungs
It grounds you, connecting you to the earth
Those with high blood pressure should not lift their arms up, but keep their palms in anjali mudra at heart centre
For those who are frail or elderly, or have osteoporosis, inner ear conditions or balancing issues should take the pose with wall support
Please remember, our balance is always different each day. If one day your balance isn't that good, it's ok.