three women performing tree pose in outdoor yoga class
Healthy Living

Yoga for Beginners: How to Do Tree Pose

May 21 2018
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Whether you’re a lifetime yogi or new to practicing, our how-to series will take your yoga postures deeper.

Tree pose, also called Vrksasana, looks like a simple posture at first glance. However, when done correctly, this pose will challenge your entire body both mentally and physically.

First and most obvious — tree pose will test your balance. In addition, balancing on one leg will strengthen your core, feet, ankles and hips, while stretching your thighs, groin, torso and shoulders.

Here’s how to master tree pose in your next class:

  • Begin in a mountain position with your feet parallel. Lift your chest and lengthen your spine.
  • As you inhale, bring both arms out to your sides, forming a ‘T’ position.
  • Shift your weight to your left foot. Bringing your right food wide, leave your right toes on the floor for balance.
  • Bring your right foot to rest on your left calf. For a more advanced posture, bring your right foot above your left knee.
  • As you continue taking deep breaths, you may leave your arms in a ‘T,’ bring your hands to heart-center or lift your arms overhead.

Because of the deep focus required to remain balanced in this posture, Vrksasana offers calming, meditative benefits. We recommend closing your eyes to take it all in — maybe even visualizing yourself as a strong, steady tree. Once you’ve practiced this a couple of times, try adding in the advanced options, such as bringing your foot above your knee or bringing your arms to a ‘T.’

If you’d like a visual of how to do tree pose, check out this short video featuring one of Mercy Health’s certified advanced yoga instructors, Mary Geibel. To deepen your practice, visit a Mercy Healthplex, or view our videos on Downward-Facing Dog and Wide-Legged Forward Bend.

Let us know if you have any questions – and namaste!


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