Tree pose is an excellent posture for strengthening the lower body and core. It also has the benefit of improving your balance and concentration.
The muscles of the feet, as well as the calves, thighs and glutes should be engaged while in tree pose. You want to feel as if the foot is rooting down into the earth and that the leg and torso are growing up from it.
Keeping your eyes fixed on an object that does not move is the key to maintaining your balance in this posture.
To come into the Posture:
- Standing in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) with the feet together and arms by your side, slowly shift the weight into your left foot with toes spread. Feel your foot firmly planted in the earth.
- Draw the right foot up and place the sole of the foot against the left inner thigh or lower leg. Avoid placing the foot on the knee as this can create stress on the joint.
- Place your hands on your hips and check that the pelvis is in neutral (top of the hips parallel to the floor) and that the two bumps (ASIS) at the front of the pelvis are pointing forward. Gently draw the right knee back to open the pelvis further.
- Bring the hands to heart center. As another variation you can extend them over head. Fix your gaze several feet ahead of you to maintain your balance.
- Hold the posture for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Step back into Tadasana and repeat on the other side.
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