While Vrikshasana, or Tree Pose, seems like a very basic pose, it is often difficult to find our balance on one leg. After all, standing straight on one leg is not something we do every day (at least I know that’s true for me)!
Being able to stand on one leg, however, is a very important indicator of our health – with studies showing that the inability to do so can indicate abnormalities in the brain…and even stroke.
To improve our balance, there are a couple of practices we can do:
Firstly, we can keep building our leg strength with standing asanas like Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle Pose), and Virabdrasana 1 and 2 (Warrior 1 and Warrior 2 Pose).
Secondly, is also important to learn to stay grounded on our feet, and strong, upright poses like Tadasana (Mountain Pose) can help us engage our core and improve our sense of stability. While standing in this pose, we should be aware of how our feet are placed – they should be firm on the ground, toes should not be curled, and arches should not be collapsed. Also, a common mistake is to lock the knees for balance, when we should instead be engaging the muscles in our thighs – this really helps improve stability!
Lastly, we can improve on our sense of balance with our sense of sight, or lack thereof. While balancing, we can focus our gaze on a single focal point to help us focus and feel stable. To really push ourselves to improve on our balance, we can try closing our eyes – this is super challenging!
With consistent practice – in a safe environment, of course – we can find ourselves balancing comfortably on one leg in no time.
Nicole V (200hr TTC, July 2017)