Better balance might sound like a boring benefit to doing Tree Pose. It might be catchier for me to talk about how cool it looks or how perfectly it tones your backside.
But achieving better balance is pretty cool and here’s why:
- Balance is critical to our ability to prevent falls, tripping, and other embarrassing or potentially dangerous accidents (tripping is so not cool!)
- Balance is part of every movement pattern we engage in from standing and sitting to walking and running and every activity in between.
- Balance is something most of us take for granted and wish we had worked on when it seems lost to us.
Good News! Improving your balance is always possible.
Tree pose is a great way to start improving balance and stability in your legs with the added metaphysical benefit of achieving equanimity in other aspects of life.
By holding this pose for just 30 seconds per side, you begin to strengthen the ligaments and tendons of the feet and ankles; you strengthen and tone the muscles of the entire standing leg, up to the buttocks (Hey! You’ll get a perfectly toned backside after all!)
And by standing on one leg you’ll assist the body in establishing pelvic stability while building core strength.
In addition, Tree Pose helps strengthen the bones of the hips and legs due to the weight-bearing nature of the pose and the best benefit of all: Tree Pose builds self-confidence as you develop graceful steadiness that translates to your every day life.
- Begin in Tadasana. For detailed instructions on alignment and engagement of Tadasana click here.
- Shift your weight into the right foot, keeping even pressure throughout the ball and heel.
- Draw the left knee up and grab your ankle with your hand to guide the sole of the foot to the inner right thigh (if this is not available you can place the foot on the right calf).
- Press right thigh & left foot into each other equally drawing energy to the midline to create balance.
- Try to keep hips level with tailbone drawing down toward the heels and low belly pulled in tight.
- Lift and lengthen the torso as you press palms together at the heart.
- You may wish to extend the arms overhead with fingertips extended skyward.
- Breathe deeply and rhythmically making each inhale and exhale equal length.
- Hold for 20-60 seconds then change sides.
What an amazing thing!