Posture Spotlight: Tree Pose
Tree pose is my absolute favourite balancing posture, not only because of how it looks but because this seemingly simple pose catches me out if I attempt to do it with a busy mind.
Balances can be frustrating if practiced without awareness, and you can find yourself wobbling all over the place and cursing your mat for not holding you perfectly still. Luckily, there are techniques you can use before getting into tree pose that will help you create focus, and if practiced regularly the benefits can be felt both on and off the mat.
Stand with your feet hip width apart, tailbone tucked in, straight spine, shoulders down and relaxed, gaze forward.
Find a focus point in front of you – find something that won’t move while you come in and out of Tree Pose.
Inhale and exhale as you focus on this point/object.
Bring your hands to heart centre into Prayer Pose.
Shift the weight onto the left leg. Keeping your toes on the mat, raise the right heel and bring it to rest against your left ankle. Take a few breaths here.
If you are ready to extend this, draw the right foot up the leg to rest on the inside of the left calf. Maintain your focus point and take a few breaths here.
To further extend this, bend the right knee out to the side and pick up the ankle placing the sole of the right foot on the inside of the left thigh. Engage the left thigh and the sole of the right foot by pressing them together as you do with your hands in Prayer Pose. Take a few balancing breaths here, concentrating on your focus point.
BEGINNER YOGI CHALLENGE: Extend this even further by raising your arms over head, hands in Prayer Pose and if you are still going strong… close your eyes!
Repeat on the other side.