The yogic science of ayurveda is recognized across the world for its ability to enhance, strengthen, and heal the body, mind, and heart. Invented about 5000 years ago, yoga asanas are a series of meditation exercises inspired by nature and all of its elements like trees, birds, animals, etc. One such popularly recognized asana is the “Tree Pose”, or the Vrikshasana.
Benefits Of The Yogic Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
Vrikshasana or tree pose is a powerful yoga pose that trains your body to attain balance while toning your leg muscles. This elegant pose, however, may take a little time to perfect, but the more you practice, the better you get at it. Getting your body to successfully attain this pose will give you tremendous inner and outer strength, not to mention the great feeling of accomplishment as you learn to balance yourself on one leg.
Apart from being a lot of fun, there are a number of benefits to the yogic tree pose.
- It strengthens your spine and improves body balance and posture.
- It helps improve your body’s neuromuscular coordination.
- It tones your leg muscles and makes the tendons and the ligaments of your feet stronger.
- It strengthens your knees and loosens your hip joints.
- It strengthens your shoulders, inner ears, and eyes.
- It provides relief from sciatic neuritis and helps treat flat feet.
- It teaches you patience and makes you sturdy and flexible.
- It deepens the thorax.
- It enhances concentration and promotes mental alertness, and is, therefore, apt for students and children.
How To Master The Yogic Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
As the name suggests, this posture seeks to replicate the graceful, yet sturdy stance of a tree. Unlike most yoga poses, the tree pose requires the person practicing it to keep his eyes open so as to attain and maintain body balance.
- Stand straight and erect and let your arms drop to the sides of your body.
- Bend your right knee slightly.
- Lift your right foot high up and place it on your left thigh. Ensure that the sole of your foot is placed flat, firmly against the root of your thigh.
- Keep your left leg absolutely erect. Once you have placed yourself comfortably in this position, breathe slowly, and find your balance.
- Inhale, and gently stretch your arms upwards, raising them over your head. Bring your palms together to form the ‘namaste’ mudra.
- Look straight ahead at a distant object and keep your gaze firmly on it. This will help you maintain your balance.
- Ensure that you keep your spine perfectly straight. Remember that your body needs to be taut, yet elastic. Inhale deeply, and relax your body a little more with each time exhalation.
- Gently bring your hands down from either side of your head, and let your right leg come back to the ground so that you’re back to your original position of standing straight and tall.
- Repeat this pose with your left leg.
Beginner’s Tips For Performing The Yogic Tree Pose
If you’re new to this pose, you may find it difficult to bring your left foot and place it above your right knee. You can instead, start by placing your foot below your knee.
Also, initially, it may be hard to stay steady and hold your balance. To help you get the hang of this asana, you can practice by holding onto a wall for balance.
Take a number of deep breaths before you start the pose and fix your gaze on any object in front of you. This will help enhance and boost your concentration.
Precautions And Contradictions While Doing The Tree Pose
Although the tree pose has plenty of health benefits, it’s not for everyone and should not be practiced by those who have the following:
- High blood pressure
- Low blood pressure
- Acute knee problems
- Hip injury
As mentioned earlier, always place your foot above or below your knee, never on it. Placing your foot directly on your knee will apply pressure on your kneecaps and this could lead to a serious injury.
If you have high blood pressure, avoid raising your arms above your head for a long period of time. Instead, hold your arms across your chest as if crossing your arms, and bring your palms together to form the “anjali” mudra.