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Tree Yoga Pose – Vriksasana

tree-pose-vriksasana

Vriksasana

[vrik-SHAHS-anna]

Vriksa means tree. In many cultures and religions the tree is seen as a bridge between heaven and earth or the upper and lower realms of being. When we think of the tree, we may also think of roots reaching into the earth and qualities like strength and flexibility. We may also think of the tree as a home for many creatures or the fact that it must always reach deep down into the earth for nourishment.

Benefits of Tree Pose

  • Improves our sense of groundedness and security in the universe.
  • Teaches basic alignment.
  • The lifting of the chest expands the intercostal area and allows for healthier breathing patterns.

 

Contraindications

  • Pain in feet, ankles or feet.
  • Discomfort or pain in the hips.
  • Serious balance issues or advanced MS.

Step-by-Step

  • Stand with your toes touching and your heels half an inch apart.
  • Place the sole of the right foot anywhere that feels comfortable on the left leg. It can even rest on the ankle with the toes of the right foot resting on the ground.
  • Take care though to avoid pressing your heel into your knee.
  • Feel the inner thigh, calf or ankle of the left leg and the sole of the right foot applying equal pressure against each other.
  • Make sure your hips are level and lengthen through your waist.
  • Many students need to drop the right hip down.
  • The knee of the lifted foot should be at a 45° angle. Avoid trying to press the knees back too far as this can cause damage to the sacroiliac joints.
  • Relax the shoulders down.
  • Feel space across the front and the back side of the shoulders.
  • Lengthen the back of the neck, feeling the nose is in line with your bellybutton and your chin parallel to the earth.
  • Release your arms to your sides and lower your lifted foot to the floor.

Preparatory Poses

Counter Poses