Vrksasana (Tree pose)

Vrksasana (Tree pose)

Benefits:
This pose helps to strengthen the thighs, calves, ankles and spine.
This pose stretches the groins, inner thighs, chest and shoulders.
This pose improves the sense of balance.

Muscles activated:
Buttocks (gluteus maximus, gluteus medius)
Hip flextors ( iliopsoas muscle, rectus femoris, tensor fascia latae)
External Rotators of the hip (piriformis, obdurator internus, obdurator externus)
The muscle(adductor magnus) which is the largest and most posterior of the adductor group

Chakras:
Muladhara Chakra

Caution and Contraindications:
Those with high/low blood pressure, shoulder injury, cuff rotator injury should keep the hands at Namaskar (prayer) while in the pose.
Those with severe lower back injury should place their heels on the soleus and toes on the floor.

Steps:

(Going into the pose)

1. Stand in Samasthiti (prayer pose)
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2. Shift your weight slightly onto your right foot and ground the inner of the right foot to the ground.

3. Bend your left knee and reach down with your left hand to grasp your left ankle.

4. Pull the left foot up and place the sole against your inner right thigh.

5. Rest your hands on your pelvis, making sure that the top rim is parallel to the floor.
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6. Raise both your hands up, elbows straight and palms together.
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7. Hold the pose for 10 to 15 breaths

8. Lower your hands to prayer pose, pause for 3 seconds.

9. Repeat on the opposite leg

(Coming out of the pose to counter pose directly)

1. With the hands at prayer pose, lower your legs and stand in tadasana.
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Video: http://youtu.be/V2unQ8siN2Q

Variations:

For those with balancing difficulties, can bring the arms to the waist in the pose or use a chair/wall to hold on to.
For advanced practitioners, in the tree pose sway the trunk of the body in the opposite direction of the pointed knee.

Counter pose:
Tadasana (Mountain pose), Uttanasana (Standing forward bend), Balasana (child pose)

By : Ronald Tan (200hr Yoga TTC 07/14 weekend)