Tree Pose or Vrksasana in Sanskrit (‘Vrksa’ means ‘Tree’ and ‘asana’ means ‘pose’) is a yoga posture that strengthens the legs, improves balance, and cultivates mindfulness. The very name suggests the body in the final pose should look like a tree. A tree stands tall, strong, and straight. Thus, while practicing Vrksasana focus on keeping your standing leg strong and stable, rooting down through your foot and engaging your thigh muscles. You can also experiment with different arm positions, such as reaching your arms out to the sides or bringing them down to your sides for more support. Remember to breathe deeply and stay present in the pose, allowing yourself to feel grounded and rooted like a tree.
Start in mountain pose with your arms alongside your body. Equally distribute the weight across both feet and ground down evenly through the inner ankles, big toes, pinky toes and the heels.
On an inhale, shift the weight into your left foot ensuring your weight is equally distributed through all four corners of your foot and you are not gripping the toes.
Bend the right knee into your chest and reach down to grab hold of the right inner ankle. Guide the sole of the right foot to the inner left thigh or inner calf.
**Avoid resting the left foot on the inner knee.
Press the sole of the right foot into the left inner thigh and the left inner thigh into the sole of the right foot to create stability.
Rest your hands on your hips and encourage them to be at the same height and squared forwards towards the front. Then bring the palms to prayer at your heart center.
Lengthen the tailbone towards the earth.
Engage the belly gently by drawing the naval in and up towards the spine.
Root down firmly through that left foot as you lengthen through the spine and the crown of the head.
Soften your gaze to a non-moving point in front of you on the horizon.
On an inhale you can reach the arms up above head with the hands active either shoulder distance apart or palms pressing together. Relax the shoulders away from the ears.
To release, bring the right foot back down to the ground and the arms back alongside the body into mountain pose. Repeat on the other side.
Benefits and Contraindications
Improves neuromuscular coordination
Improves balance, endurance and alertness
Tones up the leg muscles and ligaments
Helps in bone development and proper alignment of the vertebral column
Helps relieve premenstrual symptoms like leg cramps and abdominal cramps
Relieves stress and anxiety
Arthritis and/or vertigo
Knee or hip injury
Photo poses in different angles
Modifications and Props
Several props can be used to help modify or deepen the practice of Vrksasana (Tree Pose), including:
Yoga block: If you have trouble balancing or can’t reach your foot to your thigh, you can place a block under your foot for support. This will help you maintain the proper alignment and feel more stable.
Stand with your back against a wall and place your foot on the wall at the level of your thigh. The wall will provide stability and support as you work on finding your balance.
Strap: If you have difficulty bringing your foot up to your thigh or keeping your arms lifted, you can use a strap to help. Loop the strap around the ball of your foot and hold onto the ends with your hands. This will give you more leverage to lift your foot higher and maintain the pose.
Blanket: If you have sensitive knees, you can place a blanket under your standing foot for extra cushioning.
Keep the knee of your standing leg soft – do not lock the knee especially if you are hypermobile.
To help with your stability and balance:
Spread through the toes and press the foot firmly into the floor but try not to clench your foot so that it can make small movements to help keep your balance.
Engage the muscles of the leg, hips, glutes.
Maintain an active core.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I improve my balance in Tree Pose?
To improve your balance in Tree Pose, focus on finding a steady gaze and engaging your core muscles. You can also practice with a chair or wall for support until you feel more comfortable on your own.
How do I know if I'm doing Tree Pose correctly?
In Tree Pose, your weight should be evenly distributed between your standing foot and the foot that’s lifted. Your lifted foot should be pressing firmly into your standing leg, and your hips should be level. You can ask a yoga teacher to check your alignment or use a mirror to check it yourself.
Can I practice Tree Pose if I have knee or ankle pain?
If you have knee or ankle pain, you may need to modify the pose or avoid it altogether. Consult with a doctor or yoga teacher for guidance on modifications that can make the pose more accessible for you.
Can I practice Tree Pose during pregnancy?
Tree Pose can be practiced during pregnancy with modifications to accommodate your changing body. However, it’s best to consult with a doctor or yoga teacher before beginning any new yoga practice during pregnancy.
How long should I hold Tree Pose?
Hold Tree Pose for 5-10 breaths, or as long as you feel comfortable. As you become more comfortable with the pose, you can gradually increase the length of time you hold it.
How do I deepen my stretch in Tree Pose?
To deepen the stretch in Tree Pose, press your foot firmly into your thigh and draw your thigh and foot closer together. You can also reach your arms up overhead to increase the stretch in your side body and arms.
A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it.
In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings.
After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva.
To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics.
Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga.
At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.