Tree Pose


"Yoga is the methodology with which to unveil the miracle that exists right in front of our faces and inside ourselves." - Rodney Yee

Tree Pose

HOW TO PRACTICE Tree Pose IN YOGA (Vrksasana)

Benefits, How to Instructions, Modifications, and Common Alignment Mistakes for Tree Pose


Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Trees symbolize strength and growth, the ability to be simultaneously rooted and adaptable. Trees plant themselves firmly into the earth with root systems as vast as (or larger than) the canopy seen above ground. Yet they are flexible and supple enough to sway and move with the changing wind and weather. Their strength is paired with the appropriate flexibility, allowing forests to thrive in varying climates and landscapes throughout the world. 

Like the trees we admire in nature, Tree Pose (Sanskrit name: Vrksasana) asks us to develop a strong foundation. By grounding firmly into the standing leg, while maintaining responsiveness to our bodies’ minute stabilizing movements, Tree Pose builds strength, focus and the ability to remain stable even as our bodies oscillate in response to our breathing. 

Benefits of Tree Pose

Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Standing yoga poses are the best way to develop strength in the muscles needed to balance. Growing and maintaining standing balance becomes more and more important as we age. A fall later in life can be life threatening, so developing the skills needed to keep you upright in a variety of situations is an important practice. It’s never too early—or too late—to begin developing or to maintain your ability to balance. Challenging balance is what helps build the skills that can stabilize balance.

Balancing yoga postures like Tree Pose also build mental focus and clarity. Vrksasana is a great way to center yourself at the start of your yoga practice. You can also use balancing asanas to collect your mind when you notice that your thoughts are scattered. 

A wide range of abilities and skills are required to maintain balance. It is helpful to remember that the point of practicing any balancing yoga pose is to help develop the skill of balancing rather than to perform a “perfect” pose. When a yoga practitioner struggles with balance, the issue can be physical: a lack of muscular strength, an imbalance in how the muscles have developed, a postural misalignment. But balance issues can also stem from incorrect effort, a lack of confidence, fear of falling that causes misalignment into a yoga posture that feels safer, or a problem stemming from the vestibular or ocular systems. Practicing the yoga poses in the Yoga 2.0 tab can be a helpful place to start building both a firm foundation and a fearless attitude in creating a strong, resilient Tree Pose. 

Benefits of practicing Tree Pose include strengthening your hips, ankles and calves, along with core muscles of the abdomen and spine. Balancing yoga poses can help people with flat feet by increasing strength in the arch of the foot. The movements you feel in the standing foot and ankle help to strengthen both. Tree Pose also stretches the groin and inner thighs, and the chest and shoulders. When practiced with the arms over head, the arm position can strengthen the shoulders and inner arm muscles.

How to do Tree Pose

Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

  1. Start in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Press down through the four corners of your feet equally. Spin your inner thighs back toward the wall behind you. Draw the heads of your thigh bones back so that the top of your sacrum tilts slightly forward. Make your tailbone heavy to lengthen your lower spine. Grow tall through the top of your head. Find a focus point for your eyes.
  2. Place your hands on your hips. Shift your weight into your left foot. Press down vigorously through your left foot, and lift your right foot to your left inner thigh. If you can’t bring your foot all the way to your inner thigh, place it below your knee on your inner calf. If your balance is shaky, you can also practice with your right heel contacting your ankle so that your toes can rest on the floor.
  3. Try to retain the same hip alignment that you found in Tadasana. Notice if your hips are rotating, tipping, or the pelvic bowl is spilling forward. Firm your outer left hip in toward your midline. For most people, forcing the right knee out to the side will cause the pelvis to rotate, because most people’s hip sockets are not located on the outside of the pelvis. Let your right knee drift forward, so that you can square your hips in line with the standing leg.
  4. If you feel steady in the yoga posture, place your hands in Anjali Mudra (Prayer Position) at chest level. After a few breaths, you can also try reaching both arms up overhead. Otherwise, keep your hands at your hips.
  5. Stay for several breaths. Like a living tree, continue to root through your feet to the earth and send the crown of your head skyward as you maintain the asana.
  6. After several breaths, carefully replace your foot onto the ground. Stand in Tadasana with your eyes closed, feeling the effects of the yoga pose.

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