How To: Vrkasana (Tree Pose)
Fun Facts and Benefits: Vrksa means tree. This pose tones your thighs, calves, ankles and spine. It stretches your groins, inner thighs, chest and shoulders. It increases your sense of balance and poise. This pose is also great for reducing flat feet in individuals. It is also great for relief of sciatica.
Steps: Begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Shift weight into the left foot and bend the right leg at the knee. Use your right hand to grab your inner ankle. Place your sole of your right foot on your ankle, calf, or thigh, toes pointed toward the floor. Make sure to avoid your knee. Balance on your left leg. Place your hands on your pelvis to check if it is in a neutral position with he top rim of your pelvis parallel to the floor. Your hands can be placed at heart center in Anjali Mudra, actively pressing your palms together. They can also reach actively over head shoulder-width apart. Your shoulders should be broad so if they start to creep up toward your ears, relax them back and down or lower your arms. If you would like, you can join the palms together over head. Press your right foot into your left thigh and your left leg into your right foot. Root down into all four corners of your foot imagining them growing into the earth beneath you. Inhale and exhale. Engage your core and lift your heart to the sky. Lengthen your tailbone toward the ground. Gaze can be at a non-moving point in front of you or upward for a balance challenge. Continue breathing in this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Release the arms down to your side and your right foot to the floor. Meet back in Tadasana and repeat on the opposite side for the same amount of time.
Variations: You can stand next to a wall to help with balance. Close your eyes in any variation for more of a balance challenge. You can lower your right arm to the floor and your left over head getting a nice stretch for your side body. If you like partner poses, have your partner stand next to you touching your left hands together.
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