Tree Pose for Better Balance

What is the Tree Pose?

Tree Pose (Vrksasana) is a basic yoga posture for improving balance. The stabilizer muscles in our back, core and ankle can become weakened as we get older, if our general fitness level is low or sometimes even if we are missing this area in our training. The obvious benefits of good balance are reducing the risk of injury from falling over, and promoting back health and a strong core. Good balance is essential for high impact sports. Balance exercises also stimulate the central nervous system, contributing to agility and mind/body awareness. Balance exercises should be part of everyone’s fitness program.

How to do the Tree Pose

If you wish you can start by standing beside a wall or someplace where you can hang on to something beside you until your balance improves. Stand up straight, draw the belly button in and tuck the tailbone under to engage the core. See if you can shift your weight onto one foot without leaning over. Then bring up the other foot and rest it on the leg someplace with the knee turned out to the side. Start by just placing it at the ankle with the toes touching the ground if it is too hard. Then gradually progress in time to moving the foot up the leg and the knee further out to the side.

Always work to your own ability without trying to force your muscles and you will see gradual improvement. Breathe evenly and balance 30 seconds. If you can master holding the leg up, then try turning the palms outwards and raising the arms out to the side and then above the head. Keep the elbows straight and the shoulder blades down. If you are not able to hold the hands together with straight elbows just keep the palms parallel to each other above your head. Breathe evenly and balance 30 seconds.

Come out of the tree pose as you went in, arms first then the leg, gracefully.