If random people on the street were asked to do the first yoga pose that came to mind, Tree Pose would definitely be in the top five. As basic and simple as it looks, this pose is definitely not easy to hold, since it challenges your sense of balance. But don't skip it just because you always fall over! Tree promotes good posture and opens your hips, and with a few tricks up your capris, you'll soon be able to effortlessly hold this while standing in line at the grocery store.
Sanskrit Name: Vrksasana
English Translation: Tree Pose
When doing this pose, it's important that you wear pants and not shorts, since the sole of your foot will end up sliding down your bare leg.
- Stand with your feet together. Put all your weight into your left foot and lift your right foot off the ground.
- Grab onto your right ankle with your right hand, flex your foot, and place your heel as far up your leg as possible with your toes pointing down. Place your foot wherever it feels comfortable. It's OK to rest it on the side of your knee if that's as high as your right foot will go.
- To keep your right foot planted, actively press your left leg against the sole of your right foot, while simultaneously pressing the sole of your right foot against your left leg. These two opposing forces will help to prevent your right foot from slipping down. Another trick is to draw your right knee back, which also helps open your hip.
- Press your palms together in front of your heart, and once you feel stable, you can raise your arms straight over your head. Gaze softly at a still point in front of you to help you stay balanced.
- Keep your spine nice and long and tuck in your tailbone. Focus on keeping your belly still and breathing into your chest. Stay here for five or more breaths and then repeat on the other side.
- Ready for a challenge? Try doing it with your eyes closed.