[Pose of the Week] Mastering Tree Pose (Beginner)
Tree Pose can be tricky, but it’s a great pose for improving your balance and strength. Here are some tips for mastering this beginner balance pose…
Tree Pose (Vrksasana) may be a beginner yoga pose, but if you’re not all that graceful, it can be pretty challenging! Those who have trouble with balance poses, or who aren’t very flexible in the hips may find this pose feels more intermediate than beginner.
However, with some practice and some knowledge of common beginner mistakes to avoid (see below), Tree pose can be a wonderful way to build strength and stability in the lower body, open your pelvis and chest to improve flexibility, improve balance and posture, and ground and center yourself. It is also thought to reduce stress and anxiety, and promote a peaceful and relaxed state of mind.
You may wish to avoid this pose if you are pregnant, or if you suffer from chronic back pain, leg pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, or high blood pressure.
How to Do Tree Pose:
Common Mistakes to Avoid:
Not Gazing Forward at Eye Level
It may seem like it is not that important to keep your gaze forward at eye level. But if you skip this step, you might have issues maintaining your balance.
Not Opening the Chest
When you hold the tree pose, your spine should be straight and your chest should be open. A sedentary lifestyle that includes working in an office can lead to a number of habits, which include hunching your shoulders.
To fight against that tendency, draw your shoulder blades toward each other.
Not Engaging the Core and Tilting Forward
Many beginners tend to forget about engaging their core, which is key for maintaining balance.
Focusing only on your legs can be detrimental to the pose. When your core is not engaged, you have the tendency to tilt forward.
To fix this, draw in your core muscles as if you were doing a plank. This gives you better control over your upper body.
Foot Placed on the Knee
Depending on your fitness level, you can go up with your foot on the length of your inner thigh until you touch your groin area.
However, you should not keep your foot on your knee. To fix this, slowly bring your foot up as much as you are comfortable.
Not Distributing the Weight Evenly on the Toes
Many beginners make the mistake of not distributing their weight on their toes. It may seem easier in the beginning to put more pressure on your toes, but soon enough you will feel pain and discomfort.
Focus on distributing your weight evenly.
Beginner’s Tip: Make sure the surface you practice on is not slippery. Always do standing asanas barefoot with no socks on.
Here’s a handy 3-D graphic from GotYoga.com so you can see the pose from various angles:
Learn more about Tree Pose at GotYoga.com.