Tree Pose

Tree pose, or vrksasana, is often a challenge for those new to yoga. In essence this balance position requires you to stand on one leg. This is a great exercise in balance which can benefit people of all ages.

Buy at The word "vrksa" means tree - and you can certainly see how this resembles a tree!

First, stand with your feet shoulder's width apart, resting comfortable on both of your feet. Wiggle your toes until both feet are well seated. Now slowly, gently, shift your weight from both feet to just your left foot. Feel the weight settle comfortably on your left foot, and get the sense that you are stable on this foot.

Slowly bring up your right foot - either on its own or with help from your hand - to rest against your inner left thigh. If you can't go up as high as your left thigh, go with your left calf or even your left ankle. Just don't put your foot against the actual knee of your left leg, because you don't want to put sideways pressure on it.

Focus on your pelvis. Is it about parallel to the floor? You want to be balanced and calm while doing this, to help maintain your one legged stance.

Press your right foot gently in against your left leg, and your left leg slightly out towards your right foot. This gentle pressure will help you maintain your balance.

With your hands, some people reach up towards the sky at this point, to stretch their body out further. Other people put their hands against each other at the chest in a prayer style position. Whatever you choose, hold that for up to a minute if you can. Then slowly lower your foot back onto a flat position on the mat.

Building a strong sense of balance is important for people of all ages. Even if you need a chair for support, or a friend, this is a good position to work on!

I couldn't manage this at all at first. Then I started doing it whenever I had a pause - waiting for the microwave to ding, waiting in line, talking on the phone. Over time I build up the strength and balance to do it more easily. The key is practice - and this balance will help you well in all aspects of life!

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