Hatha Yoga Tip

VRKSASANA – TREE – A standing balance posture – Beginner and intermediate level
Sanskrit: vriksa or vriksha (वृक्ष, vṛkṣa) meaning “tree” and asana (आसन) meaning “posture”.

Begin by standing straight and focus on a spot in front of you. Transfer your balance to one leg while breathing slowly and standing firm on the foot. Lift the other foot to place it flat on the inner thigh of the standing foot. Use your hand to help place the foot in the correct position. Your knee will be bent at a right angle to the standing leg. Keep the standing leg straight to keep balanced.

Second step: When securely balanced, release hand from foot and place both hands in prayer position at the chest. Keep the bent leg lifted and keep the chest open. The body should be straight with no lean to one side.

For the third step in this asana, lift the arms while inhaling and hold straight arms still in prayer position above the head. Keep the palms together and the standing leg firm.

Repeat with opposite leg bent in tree pose.

Tip: To help balance, spread the toes of the standing foot and stand with weight equally on the heel and ball of the standing foot for balance. The straight vertical position of the body, the neck and arms will help with the balance as well as the focus on a fixed point in front of you. Keep the arms next to the ears. For a beginner, looking in a mirror initially while performing this asana may help to correct your own body alignment. Practise deep breathing in this pose.

To take this asana to an intermediate level, the above steps are followed but the foot is placed in a half lotus position on the top of the thigh of the standing leg. Keep the arms extended above the head while breathing rhythmically. Practice deep breathing. The eyes may be closed for further concentration and practice of balance. Repeat with opposite leg in bent position.

• Strengthens the leg and back muscles
• The bent leg opens the hip joint
• Improves balance
• Keeps the mind focused and improves concentration
• Brings feeling of inner peace
• Very conducive to meditation

This yoga asana is an edited contribution for the Sivananda Gurugram partly sourced and edited from the Sivananda Publication: “Yoga: Your Home Practice Companion” – Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre – 2010.

Pure Consciousness is Brahman/the Absolute. Pure Consciousness is the same as Pure Bliss. – Swami Sivananda

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