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Tree Pose

Written by Asha McLaughlin

V r k s a s a n a

Continuing our balance series, we explore one of the foundational poses: Vrksasana or Tree Pose. Taking the time to steady the breath and mind before starting a balance pose is key to its success. Take a moment to root down and find your steady point within before you begin.

  1. Start in Tadasana – feet parallel, toes spread and grounding down through all four corners of your feet. Engage all the muscles of your legs. Lengthen your spine upwards by floating the crown of your head up. Broaden your chest and take a couple of easy breaths.
  2. Gently shift your weight onto your right foot. Lift your left foot off the ground and place the sole against the right ankle, pointing your knee out to the left side. If you feel solid here, you can go to the next level by sliding the left foot up to press against the calf or upper thigh. The only place you should not place the foot is against the knee joint. Imagine you have roots grounding you down into the earth through your right foot. This is an oppositional pose; as you root down you also rise and lengthen up.
  3. Press your hands together in Anjali mudra* or, if you are feeling solid and balanced and your knee is pointing out to the left, lift your arms up and spread your fingers wide. (inset photos) Stay lifted in the chest region and allow your heart to smile. Gaze softly ahead 4-5 feet in front of you.
  4. Hold for 4-6 slow breaths, then repeat steps on the other side.

*Anjali mudra – gently but firmly press your palms together. Bring your thumbs toward your heart region at the center of the chest.

Photos by Brian Freer

About the author

Asha McLaughlin

Asha is a long time yoga & meditation teacher as well as a natural health educator at Bloom Wellness, in Williamsburg. She teaches public classes and offers private sessions - she can be reached at essential.asha@gmail.com.