Anatomy and asana – Vriksasana (Tree pose)

The tree pose is one of the first pose that drawn me into yoga.
Although it is not part of the Asthanga serie, it is an emblematic pose worth noting and exploring.
I appreciate the contrast of strength and balance which is needed to hold the pose and the gracefulness that can be expressed with the arms and the upper part of the body. With enough focus, one can really feel the tree analogy, the energy connection with the earth when properly rooted and the lightness of the arms micro balancing like branches slowly moved by the wind.
How to get into the pose?
Start in Tadasana (mountain pose), lift the right knee 90′, using the wall for support if needed, place the sole of the feet against the inner left tight, or below the left knee if need be – make sure the pressure is NOT on the knee.

Make sure both sides of the trink are equally stretched. Breathe slowly and steadily.

Keep the hands on the hips or folded together in prayer position in front of the chest. Control your hips and pelvic region and ensure they are in neutral position and balanced, tuck the tailbone in if need be.
On an inhale, lift the arms up, alongside the ears, with the palms still pressing on one another. Steady the gaze. Smile. Stay in the pose for several deep breaths. Enjoy, and feel free to open the arms and stretch them. Do you feel the wind?
Exit the pose by releasing the hands and the knee with control, back into Tadasana. Switch legs.
Watch out areas:
– Standing knee, make sure it doesn’t hyperextend and that the folded leg doesn’t put any direct pressure on the joint.
– Control the flexion of the folded knee, and rest the sole of the feet below the knee of the standing leg if flexion is too strong.
– If any lower back pain or injury, control the balance and stability of the hips and pelvic region, control the level of flexion of the folded knee.
– Shoulders: if lifting the hands and arms straight over the head is not possible or painful, keep the hands in prayer position at chest level.