summer yoga series: one-leg balance with tree pose

Vrikshasana or tree pose is a wonderful pose to help you feel balanced and stable on your journey as summer slowly transitions into fall. Tree pose not only helps with balance, but also tones the muscles of the core and legs… and it’s not as easy as it looks! Regular practice over time helps build inner and outer strength and a feeling of accomplishment as you learn to balance on one leg. 

full tree pose

full tree pose

Benefits:
  • Stretches your inner thighs and groin
  • Strengthens your thighs, calves, core, and buttock muscles
  • Strengthens the ligaments and tendon of the feet
  • Improves your posture and develops balance
  • Assists the body in establishing pelvic stability
  • Strengthen the bones of the hips and legs due to the weight-bearing nature of the pose
  • Calms and focuses your mind
  • Increases your body awareness.
tree pose from the side - try to align your foot along the inner seam of your pants and open your hips

tree pose from the side – try to align your foot along the inner seam of your pants and open your hips *engage your core to avoid sway in your lower back!

How to:

  1. Stand in Tadasana or mountain pose with your toes and ankles touching, your pelvis perpendicular to the floor and your shoulders relaxed and open.
  2. Ground through your left foot, especially focusing on the big toe joint and then bend your right knee to lift your right foot.
  3. Place the sole of the right foot up against the left inner ankle, calf or thigh with the toes pointing downwards.
  4. Make sure your hips are even- avoid the sink into the hip of the standing leg by engaging your left outer hip.
  5. Gently press your right foot into the left inner leg.
  6. Pressing into the inner arch of your left foot and lightly contract your core muscles to keep from arching your lower back.
  7. Once you have established your balance, fold the hands in front of your chest in a prayer position. Repeat with the left leg.
modify for balance issues by keeping your toe on the ground and heel against your inner ankle

modify for balance issues by keeping your toe on the ground and heel against your inner ankle

Modifications:

  • If you have difficulty balancing, place one or both hands on a wall or chair for support or keep the toes touching the floor as the heel rests against the inner ankle.
... and when you weeble and wobble, do it with a smile!

… and when you weeble and wobble, do it with a smile!

… and remember, yoga is a PRACTICE not a PERFECT. Enjoy the journey. much love

 

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