The Tree Pose is considered a foundational standing pose that helps improve balance, concentration, and overall body awareness.
At first glance, the tree pose looks relatively simple. However dig deeper and you’ll see that there is so much we can learn and reflect on by performing this seemingly easy asana.
What can we learn from the tree pose?
Vrikshasana is a great metaphor for how we should live our lives.
Trees are patient creatures. They live a long and quiet lives. They learn to grow and stand firm through all the changes of day and night, climates and seasons.
Our lives, much in the same way, will go through periods of sunshine and storms, and we must learn to accept and adapt through each of life’s trials, much like the trees.
- The Tree Pose represents grounding and stability. By standing firm, but not rigid, we cultivate a sense of rootedness and stability in our body and mind, in yoga and in life.
- We can balance in the asana only when we have all three; focus, concentration, and control. Similarly, it is impossible to lead a balanced life, without focus, concentration, and control.
- Trees are often seen as symbols of strength, resilience, and interconnectedness with nature. It reminds us to respect recognise our place within the larger web of life.
- Just as a trees grows to spread its branches, the Tree pose encourages us to embrace our personal growth. By standing tall and extending our arms, we cultivate a sense of expansion, openness, and self-expression.
- The Tree Pose teaches us to remain present. To maintain balance, we must focus on our breath, and drown out all the noise. This cultivates a state of awareness and presence, forcing us to let go of distractions, find stillness, and be fully present.
The tree pose reflects a harmony between heaven and earth. And it is a great mirror, reflecting whether our minds are truly calm or cluttered.
Enter the asana, breathe and observe your mind. If your eyes wander, jaws tense up, or if your mind is agitated, your balance will waver. This pose will might reveal previously unknown distractions. It will make you question if in the midst of all these doubts and distractions, you can draw stability from earth earth and stand tall like a tree?
Let’s find out.
- Begin by standing tall in a neutral position. Feet hip-width apart and arms by your sides.
- Shift your weight onto one foot and find your balance.
- Slowly lift your other foot off the ground and place its sole on the inner thigh of the leg you are standing on. If you're a beginner or have limited flexibility, you can place your foot on the inner calf to begin with.
- Press your foot firmly against your thigh, and equally press your thigh against your foot, creating a gentle resistance, which will help you maintain balance.
- Once you’re stable, fold your hands into prayer position or namaste either over your heart or extended overhead.
- Find your gaze or drishti on one single point to improve concentration and balance.
- Stay for a few breaths, maintaining balance and stability and repeat on the other side
- To release the pose, slowly lower your foot to the ground and return to a standing position with both feet on the floor.
Remember to breathe consciously and observe how easy or difficult it is to maintain your balance and how external factors can often cause you to lose balance easily. Bringing awareness to what shakes your foundations and what keeps you stable can help bring clarity to your thoughts.
While the physical benefits of Vrikshasana like improving balance, strengthening your core and improving coordination are easy to see, the mental and emotional benefits of the tree pose are rare to find in other forms of exercise.
This simple pose makes you more aware to your surroundings and yourself, by bringing clarity to your thoughts. You will need to quieten your mind, allowing you to see what clutters it and what calms it.
It will also make you more aware of your relation with Mother Earth and will have you feeling more rooted and connected to nature.
The pose's symbolism of stability, connection to nature, and personal growth is what makes this pose a favourite among beginners and experienced practitioners alike.
So get on your mat, or don’t, but simply begin practising this asana to build a strong foundation in yoga and in life.
Ah, monsoon! The smell of wet mud, grey skies and misty air. The kind of weather that makes you want to stay in bed all day.
As beautiful as the monsoons make everything, they play havoc on our fitness routines. Morning runs are replaced by snoozed alarms, yoga classes are skipped for simmering cups of chai, and gym sessions are traded for binge sessions in bed.
But have you ever wondered why you turn into a sloth the moment the rains set in?
Don’t blame yourself for being lazy, there’s science at play!