Vrikasana (The Tree Pose)
Mentally affirm throughout this pose: "I am calm, I am poised"
Stand straight with your hips facing forward.
Bend your right knee and place the heel as high up against the inside of your left leg as possible. You may need to pick it up with your hands and place it there. Toes should be pointing downward, with your knee pointing away from you to the side. Focus on keeping your hips, torso and shoulders facing front. Avoid sinking the hip or raising the right hip.
Place your hands in the prayer pose at the sternum.
Feel the stretch back and forth between your head and toe. Push into your left leg with your right foot to maintain balance.
Repeat on the other side
**Do not continue the pose if you can not stay balanced. Bring your foot down as low as you need to stay balanced. Practice this pose next to a couch or wall.
- Tones and strengthens the muscles of the legs, knees, ankles and feet.
- Improves balance physically and psychologically.
- Improves posture.
- Increases the strength of the abdominal, back and torso muscles to stay balanced.
- Tones and strengthens the arm and shoulder muscles.
To Extend the Pose:
Place your hands in the prayer position up above your head. This increases the need for balance. It further strengthens the arm muscles and opens the chest and lungs.
Tip for Balance
Never go into or exit a pose in haste and always be aware of your center. Staring straight ahead at one spot, like a lamp or picture on the wall in front of you will help you to stay balanced. Usually where your eyes go, your head goes and the rest of the body follows.
Another trick is to imagine that your feet are planted to the ground. Imagine a line running from your foot to the top of your head that is holding you to the ground. Keeping this in your mind will ensure that you stay rooted like a tree sprouting up from the ground.