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Tree Pose and Our Roots of Balance

Tree Pose Tree pose is a balance pose and it is a beautiful posture to work on when you need to create more balance and grounding in your life.

It is a pose that works on enhancing the root chakra, our base of support, security and safety.

From a physical level, this pose will help to:

  • Strengthen your thighs, calves, ankles, knees, pelvis and lower back.
  • It will increase the flexibility in your hips and groin
  • It will strengthen the life nerve, the sciatic nerve...so practice this if you've ever had sciatica
  • It will strengthen the arches of the feet, and so is recommended for those who have flat feet, dropped arches, plantar fasciitis or require corrective orthotics.

(Photo compliments of commons.wikimedia.org)

How to Do Tree Pose:

  1. Begin this pose by standing on your yoga mat with your feet together and your hands resting at your side. Focus on rooting and grounding your feet into the earth. Become still and centered in this space.

  2. Slowly and with focused concentration, bend the right knee and raise it up, placing the sole of the foot as high onto the thigh as possible. If you cannot bring your foot all the way up to your thigh, place it along your shin, but do not place it directly over the knee, as this may cause injury to the knee joint.

  3. Balancing on the left foot, begin to raise the arms up and place them in prayer pose at your heart center. If it is comfortable and you are balanced enough, you may raise your arms directly above your head, your arms acting like the branches of the tree.

  4. Hold the posture for 10 complete long, deep breaths before meditatively lowering the arms and legs back to standing position. If you loose your balance, steady yourself, bring yourself back into the pose and continue to focus on your breath.

  5. Take a few deep breaths here and then inhale as you repeat tree pose on the opposite leg.

  6. As you gain mastery with concentration and balance in the pose, try closing your eyes as you stand firmly rooted to the earth (or for safe measure, surround yourself with a few pillows in case a wind storm suddenly blows the tree down!).

Why can't I balance in Tree Pose?

Balance is multi-factorial, but is typically a result of an imbalanced life.

It may be a lack of food that day, dehydration, or insufficient sleep the night before, but if you find that you are perpetually challenged with tree pose, or any other balance pose, the culprit is likely a restless mind.

Regular practice of tree pose will help you create focus and concentration, thereby eliminating that restless mind, and cultivating mindfulness.

If regular practice alone does not seem to be enough, try looking at some of our other pages to help with mind balance and wellness:

Have fun with being a tree...and try it with your kids too, they absolutely love these poses.

Yours in Wellness,

Dr. Lisa

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