Later this month, day and night will be of equal length once again. Though this moment is only fleeting, it reminds us that after every time of imbalance, there is a period of balance. As we seek to bring our own lives into balance, this month, we challenge ourselves with a daily focus on vrksasana, or tree pose. As we build our endurance and our focus over the course of this month, we can experience the host of benefits that accompany that singular attention to finding balance. Barbara Kaplan Herring notes, “Vrksasana strengthens and tones the legs and feet, opens the hips, groins, and chest, and fortifies your Muladhara (first or “root”) Chakra. Through the practice of balance, you develop poise, concentration, and coordination-as well as steady and calm your mind. Practicing Tree Pose brings you back into your body, connects you to the earth, and helps you experience safety and stillness.” To read more of Kaplan Herring’s thoughts on vrksasana, click here.
Do come back to the blog throughout the month and keep us posted on how you are doing with vrksasana. And if you find that as the month progresses, you’d like a more challenging balance sequence, click here for more.
Thanks to Yoga Journal for the following step-by-step instructions:
Stand in Tadasana/Mountain Pose. Shift your weight slightly onto the left foot, keeping the inner foot firm to the floor, and bend your right knee. Reach down with your right hand and clasp your right ankle.
Draw your right foot up and place the sole against the inner left thigh; if possible, press the right heel into the inner left groin, toes pointing toward the floor. The center of your pelvis should be directly over the left foot.
Rest your hands on the top rim of your pelvis. Make sure the pelvis is in a neutral position, with the top rim parallel to the floor.
Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Firmly press the right foot sole against the inner thigh and resist with the outer left leg. Press your hands together in anjali mudra. Gaze softly at a fixed point in front of you on the floor about 4 or 5 feet away. (For a more challenging variation, you can raise your arms above your head, and/or close your eyes.)
Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Step back to Tadasana/Mountain Pose with an exhalation and repeat for the same length of time with the legs reversed.