Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘Vrikshasana’

Vrksanana / Tree Pose

Posted by terrepruitt on April 27, 2020

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD, Yin Yoga, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yogaEven if you don’t practice yoga you are probably familiar with this pose. It is a pose that is seen often . . . everywhere. I mean, people that do yoga and travel will take a picture of themselves doing this pose in front of famous monuments/scenery. It seems like any type of figure that is made will have this pose as one of its choices. I would say this is a “common” yoga pose. And as with most “common” yoga asana you will see modifications of it. Tree pose is a standing balance pose. There are many balance poses that are on two feet, there are even some that are on hands and knees, just hands, or just knees, but we tend to think of standing balance poses as being on one leg. In my yoga classes, especially the gentle yoga classes, I remind my students that they don’t have to take their foot off the ground when practicing a standing balance pose. In the gentle yoga classes we often have chairs so that people can hold on if they feel the need to when they take their foot off the ground. One can use a chair, a wall, a table – anything that gives them security in knowing they have something to steady themselves if need be.

Vrksanana (Tree Pose)

To do this asana we start in mountain pose. We keep the spine lengthening and straight (neutral) for the entire pose. With a tall spine shift the weight to the right foot. Rotate the left thigh out, away from the body, let the left knee and toes point out to the left. Then bring the left heel up onto the inner ankle of the right leg/foot. If you can, bring your hands to prayer position in front of your heart center. If this feels like enough of a challenge to your balance, then stay for a few breaths then come back to mountain and repeat on the other side. If you feel you can, lift your left foot higher up on your right leg, letting the left toes point DOWN. Some may even grab the left foot and put the heel at the groin with the foot along the upper inner thigh and the toes pointing down.  The foot can go anywhere along the supporting leg (it is recommended to NOT have the heel press into the side of the knee of the supporting leg). If at any time the left knee starts to point forward lower the foot until you have the knee point directly to the left and allowing for the stretch in the inner thigh.

Put your hands wherever it best supports you in the pose. Some people like to have their hands in prayer position at heart center. Some people like their arms up with their hands over their head and facing each other. Some people like their arms to be out. When arms are lifted whether they are up or out, the shoulders need to remain relaxed. I remind my students that they are trees and their arms are branches and they can go wherever is best for them.

The supporting foot’s toes are not gripping. The foot is relaxed allow the toes to be like roots spreading out and giving support.

As with all balance poses looking at one spot can help steady you. Also breathing is key. Holding the breath may happen, but breathing is what will allow the pose to be held – so breathe.

Remember to do both sides. Also remember that, while our sides may have been created equally, they do not function the same so just honor each side and see what it can do.

Balance poses require concentration so the idea is if you are having trouble concentrating try doing a balance pose to help your mind focus. But remember to be safe and have a chair or wall nearby if need be. This pose helps strengthen legs and feet and may even help calm the nerves. If you sense an inner thigh stretch then you are getting some flexibility in the inner thigh and hip joint.

Do you include Vrksanana in your yoga practice?  Have you seen this pose before even if you don’t practice yoga?

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