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Tree pose, yoga
Tree Pose

Benefits: Improved balance. Strengthens hips. Boosts confidence, especially if you don’t fall.

Suffering: Your suffering is adjustable in this pose. If you want more, plant your lifted foot higher on your standing leg. If you want less, plant your lifted foot lower.

Steps to do Tree Pose: 

  • Stand upright with both of your feet hip-width apart.

  • Shift your body weight onto one leg.

  • Bend the other leg and rotate it to the side so you can press the sole of that foot against the inside of your standing leg, either above or below your knee joint. Don’t press your foot against your ankle or knee joint; it’s bad to press against joints. I know it looks like a natural connection and fits like a jigsaw with your foot arch, but don’t fall for it.

  • To help balance, root into the ground with your standing leg.

Tip: Connecting body parts can aid in balance. If needed, gently press the sole of your bent leg against the inside of your standing leg, while also having your standing leg gently press back into the foot to get more support.

When practicing Tree Pose in an outdoor class, instructors will sometimes cue students to extend their arms straight up or do cactus arms. Why are they doing this to us? Please, let us keep our hands together at heart center or at our sides, so we can have some dignity and decorum. Extending our arms will cause us to get twice the stares from the public and make us a more noticeable yoga oddity. Even the birds will be looking.

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