Tree Pose - testing your balance
This is a challenge for most people. The faster ones mind is working, the more difficult it is to balance so this is good pose to start tweaking awareness and moving toward a quieter mind. But don't let it shatter your confidence.
If you are just starting out, are older or very unfit. It is a good option to simply stand tall and rest one foot on top of the other. If balance is a challenge, keep one hand on the wall and bring your hands into prayer position as able. From here continue with the raised foot on the ankle and the knee opened out. Then as your grow more confident, move to the knee and then get the heel as close into the inner top thigh.
If you can raise your leg, stand side onto the wall and gently rest the fingertips of one hand to maintain the balance and use the other hand to place the foot. Then begin to practise removing your hand from the wall and placing both hands on your hips.
- From Tadasana, place your hands on your hips and transfer your weight to one foot.
- Raise the other leg and use the hand of the leg you are bending to help place the foot as high on your inner leg as possible.
- The foot is kept in place by squeezing the heel between the adductor muscles and keeping the weight off the ball of the foot as much as possible. This is much easier done with bare legs as any fabric tends to be more slippery than bare skin.
- Stabilise your balance and if comfortable move you hands to prayer position in front of your chest, or above your head.
- Keep the shoulders back and down with the chest lifted
- Hold with deep breathing as comfortable
- Return the foot to the floor and stand in tadasana for 2 breaths before repeat lifting the opposite leg.
When holding the position, maintain your upright posture and work the bent knee back in line with your hips maintaining the sagittal and coronal planes.
For ease of balance, once the foot can be secured against the inside of the top thigh, balance is easier to maintain with the hands on the hips. As balance comes more easily, try bringing your hands into prayer position in front of the chest and when that is comfortable, hold the hands in prayer position above the head or have them shoulder width apart.
As in all the other standing poses, there is an extension down into the earth as much as that there is an extension away from the earth.