July 1, 2010
Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
Practicing Tree Pose (Vrksasana) strengthens the thighs, calves, ankles and spine. It stretches the groins, inner thighs, chest and shoulders. It surely improves a sense of balance and can help to relieve sciatica and reduce flat feet.
We also know that we benefit in many other ways practicing asanas. While practicing tree pose, we invite the attitude of giving, or having the abundance of a tree. Here we may set an intention based on individual growth, being deeply rooted into the earth, while reaching for the sky.
Common psychological blocks include challenges to attachment to having good balance, an aversion to balance or a fear of falling. When looking at our emotional transformation in practicing tree pose, we allow ourselves to let go of worry and have faith.
When we let go of self-judgment, and bring focus of the breath to the root chakra, we explore a steady sense of stability through our supporting foot reaching beneath the floor. From here, we breathe into the heart chakra, feeling the giving nature of a tree, nourishing not only ourselves, but also those around us.
From Tadasana (Mountain Pose), pour your weight into the right foot. Fix your gaze softly. In tree pose, the drawn foot may be placed on the ankle, the calf muscle or the thigh, being careful not to place it on the knee. Engage the inner thigh muscle of the standing leg and press the sole of the left foot into the thigh, creating a sealing effect. Lengthen the tailbone to the floor, lift the inner heart toward the ceiling. Find equal length on both sides of the waistline. Grow your tree in any way that feels good to you, keeping hands at heart’s center, raising them up with palms sealed or apart. Stay for 3-5 breaths, maintaining a connection with your intention and repeat on other side.