This pose gets its name from the Sanskrit word “Vrksasana” which means “tree pose”. It is a pose that can be said to be good for the body on many different levels.
A DEEPER INSIGHT
It should be borne in mind that the pose itself is of great importance both for people who are at the beginning of their yoga practice and for people who have been practicing yoga for many years.
Since it’s a standing balance pose, adding it to your regular practice quickly improves your ability to focus and concentrate. Since the pose is about balancing on one leg, it is also a great way to build strength. While performing the pose itself, there is also a fine stretching of your landing leg, spinal column, cervical vertebrae, and arms.
On an energetic level you influence the proper functioning of the root chakra (Muladhara), the sacral chakra (Swadisthana), and the third eye (Ajna) by practicing this pose.
Regardless of whether you practiced this pose before or not, it is very important to warm up and stretch your leg muscles. Stretching is also important for the waist itself, but also for the neck.
Since it is about balancing on one leg, warming up the quadriceps and calves is of great importance. One of the poses that we recommend is the chair pose. You can stay in it for up to ten breaths. If you feel that you can extend your stay in the chair, feel free to try staying in it for up to twenty breaths.
There are, of course, variations of the chair: rotation to the side (right and left), chair with raised heels, chair with one leg extended forward and backward.
The pose itself implies constant involvement of the landing leg. Therefore, it is important to stretch the legs well: the calves, hamstrings, groin, hips. You must not forget to warm up your toes, ankles, and knees. To warm up your toes, ankles, and knees, you can practice the so-called micro movements which are certainly the most effective when it comes to warming up these parts of the body.
The openness of the hips also plays a very important role in practicing this pose. The more open your hips are, the easier it is for you to stay in the same pose longer. But you have to do it correctly.
Stretching of both waists is also important. Keeping this fact in mind, you can practice an intercostal stretching before the pose itself. When practicing this pose, you gently stretch the hips and waist, but also outstretch the entire leg.
When you start to perform the pose, it is important to find a focal point in front of you. The ideal focus point is one meter—one and a half meters—in front of you. The point that you fixate on is recommended to be on the floor in front of you. However, if you feel that you are more stable when looking at the level of your eyes, feel free to find a focal point in front of you at your eye level.
If you know it’s hard for you to stay focused right now, we suggest that you practice by looking at the tip of your nose or the space between your eyebrows. These are simple and easy techniques that will soon improve your focus and, of course, prepare you for a much safer practice of the tree pose itself.
One small tip: If you want, you can also apply the visualization when looking at your focal point. As you look at the focal point, visualize a thick string which extends from your eyes to that point of support—a string that holds you firmly and stably in pose.
The tree pose means that you have your one leg steady. So, your whole leg must be active all the time. The muscles of the feet are tightened, the toes are active (as if you are trying to grab the mat that you are standing on with your toes), the calves and thighs are tightened, and the kneecaps are raised upwards.
And yes, don’t forget to activate mula and uddiyana bandha while you are in your pose. By activating them, you will stay in the pose longer. In general, when you use bandhas while performing strength and endurance poses, you are doing a great thing for your body, both physically and energetically. You physically strengthen it and energetically harmonize the work of your chakras.
If you are just starting with this pose, do not force your landing leg to be fully extended; feel free to bend your legs a little at the knee. This is especially true for people who recently had knee problems (from injury or surgery).
Try to keep your hips in line. Otherwise, staying in the pose is quite a challenge.
When entering the pose itself, you can choose several poses when it comes to placing the foot of the non-steady leg. That pose can be the lowest. For example, place the heel of the non-standing leg above the ankle joint of the standing leg and lower the toes to the floor. The second pose involves resting the sole of the foot on the calf of the landing leg. The third pose involves placing the foot on the thigh of the landing leg. The fourth and most challenging pose involves placing the foot, or the sole of the foot, on the inner side of the thigh of the landing leg so that the heel rests on the leg, touching the central part of the body (the perineum).
Also, when performing this pose, the pose of the hands plays an important role. The first pose is that your palms are joined in front of your chest. The second pose means that your arms are stretched above your head. The third pose involves your arms spread out to the side with your fingers also spread out to the side, like the branches of a tree.
If you feel stable in the pose, you can try to stay in it with your eyes closed. In this way, you work even harder to develop your sense of balance.
We advise the people who have not encountered the standing balance poses to freely use a chair or a wall as a support. Whenever you feel that you are losing your balance, feel free to lean on a wall or a chair. Don’t worry, you will overcome them in time; time works wonders.
By practicing the tree pose, you achieve a better balance and stability and you strengthen your concentration and focus. By performing this pose, you strengthen the muscles of your legs and your core.
Once you master the pose, your body and mind will completely relax. That moment of relaxation also applies to the muscles in your body.
The tree is in an excellent pose to relieve the joint, neck, and back pain. Regular practice improves the circulation throughout your body, thereby reducing the inflammatory processes that your body may be dealing with.
If you have a desire to establish a better focus and improve your concentration, the pose of the tree is definitely for you.
Be sure to keep in mind that before practicing it, it is important to warm up your muscles and stretch your body. Otherwise, this pose will be a big challenge for you. Use the assistance of a wall or a chair if you are just starting to practice this pose.
Don’t forget about your focus point and applying mula and uddiyana bandha.