MEANING: Tree pose! Rooting down, yet the arms are growing up like branches.
BENEFITS: This is another one of those poses that is simple, but provides a challenge – usually trying not to fall over! One of the main benefits is that it grounds and develops not only the body’s ability to balance, but confidence too. Anatomically, it strengthens the legs and ankles, creates flexibility in the hips, elongates the spine and stretches the groins and inner thighs, chest and shoulders.
HOW TO DO IT:
- Start in the now familiar Tadasana. Shift your weight slightly onto your left foot – imagine rooting it down through the earth.
- Bring your right knee up towards your chest – and reach for your right ankle with your right hand.
- Draw your right foot up and place the sole of your foot as high up your left inner thigh as you can. Press the heel into the groin and ensure the toes are pointing down. Note: if it is not possible to connect the sole of your foot to your thigh, you can place the foot on the side of the calf – just make sure it’s below the fragile knee joint.
- Rest your hands on your pelvis and ensure your pelvis is in neutral, meaning your tailbone is energetic lengthening down to the floor.
- Press the sole of the foot against the thigh and resist with the left leg. As you inhale, stretch your arms up by your sides so that they either come to rest palms facing, or palms pressing together in prayer position over your head.
- Stay for 30 seconds to a minute, then step back to Tadasana with an exhale. Repeat on the other side.
HELPFUL HINT: If you feel like you are really grasping the tree pose and you want to give yourself an extra challenge, why not get into the pose and then close your eyes. It’s then you really realise how much we rely on our sight for balance. Good luck!