Vrikshasana, or tree pose, is one of the most important asanas in yoga. The name comes from the Sanskrit words vriksa or vriksha (वृक्ष, vṛkṣa) meaning “tree”, and asana (आसन) meaning “posture” or “seat”. Trees are strong, sturdy, rooted to the earth, balanced, and always growing upwards. Vrikshasana helps us to take on these qualities in ourselves.
Getting into Tree Pose:
- Stand in Tadasana or mountain pose with your toes and ankles touching, your pelvis perpendicular to the floor and your shoulders relaxed and open. The arms are by your side.
- Ground through your left foot, especially focusing on the big toes joint and then lift your right leg folding at the knee.
- Place the sole of the right foot up against the upper left inner thigh with the toes pointing downwards and the folded leg perpendicular to the standing leg. Make sure your hips are even – avoid the temptation to sink into the hip of the standing leg.
- Once you have established your balance, fold the hands in front of your chest in a prayer position.
- Keep your balance and stretch the arms above your head with your gaze forward.
- Once you are more comfortable in this pose you can begin to play with curling the chest back and looking up.
- Keep the balance and hold for as long as possible.
- Repeat with the left leg.
Health Benefits of Tree Pose
- Improves balance and stability in the legs
- On a metaphysical level, helps one to achieve balance in other aspects of life
- Develops concentration and mindfulness
- Strengthens the ligaments and tendon of the feet
- Strengthens and tones the entire standing leg, up to the buttocks
- Assists the body in establishing pelvic stability
- Strengthen the bones of the hips and legs due to the weight-bearing nature of the pose
- Builds self-confidence and esteem
- After doing Vrikshasana, some people have seen great relief from sciatica
- People who suffer from high blood pressure should not raise their arms overhead, therefore they should minimize Vrikshasana.
- Avoid Vrikshasana if you are suffering from headache and insomnia.