The yoga tree pose (Vrikshasana) is a reminder of our connection to the earth, which provides sustenance and nourishment to all living beings.
So much time is spent walking on the pavement and floors that the link to the earth is weakened. The benefits of tree pose include helping to improve posture, providing stability to the pelvis, strengthening the ankles and legs, elongating the spine, and improving flexibility of the muscles of the inner thigh while also helping with centering and balance.
How to do tree pose:
1. Standing erect, fix the eyes on a focal point ahead of you. This pose also can also be performed while lying on the back if it's too difficult maintaining balance.
2. Carry the weight of the body on the right leg by tensing the thigh muscle.
3. While inhaling, lift the left leg with the sole of the foot placed on to the inner thigh or calf muscle of the standing leg. Should the foot slip, support the ankle with one hand.
4. The inner groin of the bent leg can be stretched by shifting the knee out to the side and aligned with the hip, breathing deeply.
5. Once balanced, the hands can be clasped in Namaste in the middle of the chest or the arms can be lifted above the head. If holding onto the leg, the other hand can be lifted to the middle of the chest or the open palm rested at the heart center.
6. Maintain for 8 – 10 breaths.
7. Bring the lifted leg back to the ground and lower the arms.
8. Do it again on the opposite side.
Benefits of tree pose:
- Strengthens the entire leg
- Strengthens tendons and ligaments of the ankles and feet
- Improves stability in the legs and balance
- Improves posture
- Improves concentration
- Helps to relieve sciatica
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