Updated: Jan 15
How to enter into Vrkasana or Tree Pose
Part of practice yoga is grounded yourself. We all have a bunch of energies that we absorb from the earth, people, our environment and from within. Being grounded allows you balance out that energy.
A simple practice can start we these foundation poses. There are many other grounded postures, and today we will focus on one called Tree Pose or Vrksasana.
Vrksasana (Tree Pose) is a combination of balance, stability, strength, stretch, and a complete focus driven practice. When done in the right way, this practice has many benefits, and these are explained below:
Stretches, Strengthens, lengthens: Vrksasana stretches and strengthens the muscles of the legs, hips, back, core, arms, and shoulders. At the beginner level this hip opener helps to bring stability in the pelvic girdle, while preparing the body for poses like Half Lotus Tree Pose (Ardha Padma Vrksasana), Half Chair Pose (Ardha Utkatasana), and the likes.
Flexibility and Range of Motion: This balancing pose which involves the joints of the hips, knee, ankles and shoulders are all engaged together helping in keeping the body stable.
Chest, Diaphragm and Breath: During the practice of Tree Pose, when the arms are stretched upwards, there is the active use of the chest, rib cage, diaphragm, intercostal muscles (breathing muscles). The active use of these helps in taking in more air into the lungs, thus also ensuring the efficient use of the lungs. However, if raising the arms above the head is difficult, then you can bring your hands to the chest in Prayer hands (Namaskar Mudra). With the efficient use of the diaphragm and lungs, breathing too is improved, impacting the stability and balance while in the pose.
Alignment and Posture: Balancing in this pose without disturbing the prana (energy) flow requires having a clear understanding on the alignment aspects. The placing of the foot in the groin, the outward movement of the hips and knees, the grounding action of the five toes with all of them pointed in front, the placing of the hips and pelvis, the alignment of the shoulders with the hips and foot, and the raised hands with the shoulders and hips, together help in completing the pose to gain the maximum benefit. When all of these come together, the posture looks good and balancing becomes easier. With repeated practice, the spine elongates, the hips and pelvis are stable and aligned, adding to an overall good posture. When the posture is improved, breathing is improved too.
Balance and Emotion: When it comes to learning to balance, your mental condition is far more important than your physical ability. Your body is likely to be disoriented if you're nervous or your mind is distracted. Thanks to the Tree Pose it helps bring balance in the physical body and in the mental state of mind, and can be considered as a meditative practice. Included in teens yoga, or desk yoga (by including the chair variation), it can help unwind and destress, by bring all the awareness to the breathing.
Energizing, De-stressing, Relaxing: Since, most of the joints and muscles are engaged in the practice of Vrksasana, especially the chest, core, back and pelvis, the flow of energy (prana) is increased. With the regulation of breath, the mind is controlled, calming the nervous system, and flushing out the unwanted energy out of the body. With the outflow of unwanted energy (apana vayu), there is room for inflow of prana, which can smoothly travel to the rest of the body. The increase prana flow, brings balance in the body-breath-mind, a sense of calmness deep within, when one feels standing below a tree.
Stimulation and Organs: As a meditative pose keeping the gaze at one point (students can also be encouraged to practice this with eyes closed, if they are comfortable) and with breath awareness, the Third Eye Chakra is activated, which is known as the source of intuitive wisdom and creativity. The pressure at the lower back/ spine and with the grounding action of the pelvis and foot, the Root Chakra is stimulated, which is responsible for stability and security. At a subtle level, the engaging of the core muscles impact the internal organs, stimulating them. Additionally, being a hip opener with the engaging of the pelvis, it impacts the reproductive system, thus helping women with infertility issues, bringing hormonal balance.
Preparatory Pose: After mastering the Tree Pose, other next level challenging poses such as Tree Pose Side Bend, Tree Pose Side Bend Hand Foot, Revolved Tree Pose Elbow To Knee, to name a few.
Source: Tummee.com (Affliate Link)
Then taking support from a partner or the wall, inhale and use your hands and raise the right leg and place the right foot on the inside of the left thigh, while bending the right knee.
Pressing the left foot firm into the floor/ mat, stand here in Tree Pose of Vrksasana bringing the arms raised above the head in Namaste, or at the chest in Namaste.
Maintain balance here using support if necessary either close to the wall or with somebody's help.
The practice of tree pose/Vrksasana, gives the women a sense of confidence and self respect. Maintaining the balance here, while focusing on breathing could be a challenge, but if done this pose brings in a boost of energy which is much needed.
Apart from the benefit of gaining balance and stability, this pose helps to bring blood in the leg that is holding the pose, thus reducing cramps or sciatica discomfort.