Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
vrksa = tree
Easy one day, impossible the next. Standing on one leg sounds simple enough, but sometimes it takes a little more focus and effort than others. This is one of our favourite balance poses for new students, so we thought we’d break it down to get you standing stable every time!
From standing, shift your weight on to the left leg. Press evenly into the four corners of the foot and pull up your knee cap and thigh.
Gaze at a point below the horizon or on eye level, to help you balance. Bend your right knee, reach down with your right hand and clasp your ankle. With help from your hand, place your right foot on the inside of the left leg, with your heel up high. (Option to place on the calf or the ankle instead – just be sure to avoid placing on the knee joint!).
Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Turn your right knee out to the side; press your foot against the inner thigh, and the inner thigh back into the foot.
Bring your hands in front of your heart in prayer position, or you can lift your arms up to the sky, hands shoulder width apart. With arms lifted, lengthen from the back body.
Straighten the standing leg and square your hips to the front of the room.
Breathe and hold for 5 – 10 breaths. Release the right foot back down to the ground. Repeat on the other side.
To Perfect this Pose
Although this pose is suitable for beginners, there’s a few key points to focus on to get it juuuuust right!
Length is key – focus on lifting all four sides of the torso evenly, stretching the arms long and keeping the collarbones broad. Ensure that the shoulder blades don’t flare – focus on drawing them down through the midline of the body and keep the neck long.
Keep the hips squared forward and hug the outer hips in toward the midline of the body. You want to stop the standing hip from jutting out to one side! Keep focusing on grounding down through the standing foot and keep the leg straight but soft (avoid locking through the kneecap).
Keep the core strong, the gazed fixed and most important of all – remember to breathe! A few little wobbles are part of it and we promise if you fall it isn’t a big deal! We’ve all been there so smile, come back to standing and try, try again 😊