Yoga Practice: Discover New Connections in Tree Pose (Vrksasana) Using Wall Ropes

use a chair or the wall to help with balance poses

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Try this great 3-part Tree Pose sequence to increase balance and stability if you can practice at a studio with wall ropes. If you don’t have ropes, experiment with Tree Pose at the wall or with a chair for assistance. The main thing is to practice, have fun, and enjoy balancing!

Tree Pose is a strong and humbling balance posture that requires stability, flexibility, and—of course—balance. And it can be practiced in so many different ways to discover new elements of the posture. There are so many Tree Pose variations you could try, but using wall ropes, in particular, can help you to find the balance and elongation needed to effectively practice this shape. 

Try These 3 Tree Pose Variations with Ropes

For these postures, you’ll need a classic wall rope setup, which can usually be found at an Iyengar yoga studio.

1. Root to Rise Tree Pose Variation: Grow Tall

Using the wall handles or ropes in Tree Pose allows you to lift up through your whole torso and elongate your spine. With this little bit of support, you can practice the pose’s balance without losing the trunk’s stretch and length. 

To Practice:Root to Rise Variation of Tree Pose

  1. Come to stand in a strong, stable Mountain Pose in front of a wall with your back to the wall and the ropes behind you.
  2. Root firmly into your feet and lift up tall through your spine. 
  3. Press your back body against the wall behind you and reach your arms up the wall to catch hold of the ropes or wall handles behind you (wherever you reach will depend on your height, but hold onto something).
  4. Pull down firmly on the ropes to lift and elongate your spine. 
  5. Shift your weight to your right leg and become light on your left.
  6. Lift your left foot from the floor, open your hip, and turn your knee to the left. Place your left foot against your inner right calf or thigh.
  7. Lean your back against the wall and continue to pull down against the ropes to stabilize your balance. 
  8. Notice how pulling down allows you to lift up taller through your back body to create lots of space and length in your whole torso. 
  9. When you’re ready, release and repeat on the other side.

2. One Arm Pulling Tree Pose Variation Helps Balance

Pulling down with just one hand on the rope in this variation can stabilize your balance while challenging your stability to better learn how to find your balance in a free-floating Tree Pose. 

To Practice: Tree Pose Variation of One arm pulling the rope

  1. Come to stand in a stable Mountain Pose about an arm’s distance away from the wall. 
  2. Turn to your side so that your left hip faces the wall. 
  3. Reach up with your left hand and catch hold of the wall rope. Pull down against the rope so that it becomes taut at your side.
  4. Shift your weight to your left leg and become light on your right.
  5. Lift your left foot from the floor, open your hip, and turn your knee to the left. Place your left foot against your inner right calf or thigh.
  6. Kick your foot and your leg against each other with equal and opposite energy to avoid “dumping” into your right hip.
  7. Notice how when you pull down on the rope, it helps you to lift your spine up.
  8. Option to float your opposite arm straight up toward the sky.
  9. Hold for a few deep breaths before releasing, turning around, and switching sides. 

 

3. Palm Pull Tree Pose Variation for Steadiness

Use the wall rope to secure your palms in this most classic version of Tree Pose.

To Practice:Palm Pull Tree Pose Variation for balance and alignment.

  1. Come to a strong, stable Mountain Pose with your back facing the wall. 
  2. Reach your arms up and place your hands inside the wall ropes so that they loop around your wrists. 
  3. Pull against the ropes until they become taut, and bring your palms to meet above your head.
  4. Shift your weight to your left leg and become light on your right.
  5. Lift your left foot from the floor, open your hip, and turn your knee to the left. Place your left foot against your inner right calf or thigh.
  6. Kick your foot and your leg against each other with equal and opposite energy.
  7. Notice how when you pull forward against the rope, it helps you to lift your spine up.
  8. Root down against the floor and reach up through your whole body toward the ropes.
  9. Hold for a few deep breaths before releasing and switching sides.

Discover New Connections in These Tree Pose Variations

Tree Pose can be practiced in numerous ways. These simple spins on classic alignment in Tree Pose really help you to find your footing and maintain your balance so that when you practice without the support of the ropes and wall, you’ll feel just as stable and secure. 

Try these variations and see if they help make your free-standing Tree Pose feel a little more grounded and secure. 

Images and practices provided by David Jacobs 

Images and concepts courtesy of David Jacobs
Leah Sugerman, E-RYT 500, YACEP, yoga writer

Leah Sugerman is a yoga teacher, writer, and passionate world traveler. An eternally grateful student, she has trained in countless schools and traditions of the practice. She teaches a fusion of the styles she has studied with a strong emphasis on breath, alignment, and anatomical integrity. Leah teaches workshops, retreats, and trainings, both internationally and online. For more information, visit www.leahsugerman.com.

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