Vriksasana, also known as Tree Pose
Strengthens: Leg, core, and back
This pose is great for balance work. As we age, our ability to balance tends to suffer. Practicing this pose for 5-10 breaths every day can make a huge difference in your body’s stability.
- Begin standing in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), with your arms at your sides. Distribute your weight evenly across both feet, grounding down equally through your inner ankles, outer ankles, big toes, and baby toes.
- Shift your weight to your left foot. Bend your right knee, then reach down and clasp your right inner ankle. Use your hand to draw your right foot alongside your inner left thigh. Do not rest your foot against your knee, only above or below it. Adjust your position so the center of your pelvis is directly over your left foot. Then, adjust your hips so that your right hip and left hip are aligned.
- Rest your hands on your hips and lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Then, press your palms together in prayer position at your chest, with your thumbs resting on your sternum.
- Fix your gaze gently on one, unmoving point in front of you.
- Draw down through your left foot. Press your right foot into your left thigh, while pressing your thigh equally against your foot.
- Inhale as you extend your arms overhead, reaching your fingertips to the sky. Rotate your palms inward to face each other. If your shoulders are more flexible, you can press your palms together in prayer position, overhead.
- Hold for up to one minute. To release the pose, step back into Mountain Pose. Repeat for the same amount of time on the opposite side.