Photos: YouGo Yoga with Rajni
Welcome to Part 2 of this new series of yoga asanas with an approach to achieve a mindful lifestyle to help you on your journey of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
In our previous edition we looked at Tadasana (Mountain pose) and how to apply it off the mat in our daily routine. In this edition, we explore Vriksasana or Tree Pose.
Part 2: Vrksasana – Tree Pose
Vrksasana comes from the Sanskrit words Vrksa (meaning Tree) and Asana (meaning Pose). The Tree pose is a standing pose that helps improve our sense of balance and coordination, both physically and mentally.
- Come to stand firmly in Tadasana.
- Fix your gaze on one unmoving point in front of you.
- Shift your weight onto your left leg, gently exhaling, bend the right leg (use your hand to guide your foot) placing it on the inside of the left thigh. Ideally, the heel should be touching the perineum, or depending on comfort level, rest your foot above or below the right knee (never on the knee).
- Inhale and extend your arms overhead, reaching your fingertips to the sky and join the palms overhead in namaste.
- In this position continue deep breathing pulling in the tummy muscles and expanding the spine upwards with every exhalation.
- Stay in this position for up to a minute (depending on your comfort level).
- Exhaling gently, bring the arms down and then the right foot down to rest in tadasana.
- Take a few deep breaths then repeat for the same amount of time with the other foot.
You may try the following variations:
- Stretch your arms straight up toward the ceiling, parallel to each other, palms facing, or touch the palms together forming an inverted V with the arms.
- If you find difficulty in resting your foot on your thigh, rest your foot alongside your calf muscle or the ankle of your standing leg, instead. You may even rest the toes of your raised foot on the floor for additional support in balancing.
- Try practicing the pose with your back against a wall for extra support.
*persons experiencing insomnia, low blood pressure, headache avoid this asana. If experiencing high blood pressure, try this asana without raising arms overhead.
Regular practice of the Tree pose improves sense of balance, relieves sciatica and reduces flat feet. It also helps improve posture, strengthen thighs, calves, ankles, and spine. The Tree pose also works wonders at a mental and emotional level by developing a greater sense of stability, concentration, body and mind coordination and grace.
Mindful practice of the pose:
The Tree pose is about connecting with the Earth as you root down and at the same time standing tall as you face life’s challenges with grace and ease. As you stand in the pose, visualise a tree and draw confidence in knowing that similar to a tree, you are strongly rooted. Just as a tree sways in the gentle breeze, allow the gentle sway of your body to help you find a gentle rhythm even in these moments of trying to find balance. Draw within yourself the qualities of quiet steadiness, patience and calm symbolic of a tree.
Off the mat:
As it is commonly said, the stronger the roots, the taller the tree. When facing a challenging situation, visualising a tree and/or yourself standing in the tree pose can greatly help in bringing a feeling of confidence and ability to navigate a difficult situation with increased focus, patience and poise.
There YouGo! Vrksasana (Tree pose) helps us to feel rooted and tall wherever we may be. May we face life’s challenges with the grace and poise of a tree.
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