Trees have been one of the primary resources humans have. It’s big trunks, strong branches, abundant leaves, and fruits to some, no wonder the tree is the symbol of nature. In yoga tradition, the Tree Pose is a resemblance of balance in life.
With its roots deeply clinging on the soil as the tree grows tall, old, and rich in leaves, so thus it stands firm on the ground, cannot be easily shaken by storms. As a yogin, this kind of balance and strength of the core is something to emulate. (Hint: Yoga trapeze can help with this; find out if they work well in detail here).
Standing Tall and Firm in the Balance of doing the Tree Pose
Vrksasana is among one of the first recorded standing asanas in the tradition of Hatha Yoga that can be traced back to the Medieval Age. Archeological discoveries also suggest that as early as the 7th century, Tree Pose is being practiced based on the stone carvings in Mahabalipuram.
According to Kundalini Yoga and Hatha Yoga traditions, the practice of Tree pose stimulates the Udana Vayu or the physical metabolism that channels one’s life force upwards. This stimulation is called Ucchara.
The modern Yoga that is practiced today by many westerners and non-Indian yogins is quite far from the traditions and rather focuses on the physical benefits of the Vrksasana.
The Benefits of Tree Pose
One of the key physical benefits one can get in constantly practicing the Tree pose is balance. As normal able people, we don’t find balance as something to be paid attention to. But over time, as we age, we can notice the change in the balance of the body.
Do you still remember when you were a toddler and still being held by your mom and dad to walk? Those were the days that we still don’t know how to balance our bodies and control the weight to our legs and feet making us stumble and fall.
As we grew into a kid, we learned to balance ourselves allowing us to stand and walk on our own. Eventually, balancing is such a menial task that doesn’t need to be thought about. Under we became old, heavy, too much busy having no enough time to do physical activities. We began to gradually lose our balance.
One factor that affects our balance is our weight. Admit it or not, metro living is kinda unhealthy as the busy lifestyle compels us to consume instant unhealthy foods, not enough to walk, jog, and exercise. Also, a lot of jobs in the cities are desk jobs having little to no physical activity.
This kind of lifestyle causes our bodies to grow physically weak due to the lack of muscle stress and strain, and ultimately, weight gain.
It is the legs the bear much of the brunt of our increasing weight as we forgot to monitor our food intake and lack of exercise. The practice of Vrksasana improves the strength of the legs in bearing the body weight.
Hips and Core
Another part of the body the bears the brunt of our weight is our hips especially when we spend most of our days sitting. Not only the hips bearing the upper body weight, but it also strains the back and our core.
Arms, Triceps, and Biceps
The Tree Pose also promotes flexibility to the upper extremities and promotes better blood circulation. Truly, the Tree Pose has full-body benefits, making it one of the most practiced yoga asanas.
How to Find Balance in the Tree Pose
Today, we are to learn step-by-step how Vrksasana is being done. We will begin by preparing our spot on where we are to do our yoga session.
Find a spot in your home that is quiet and relaxed. Remove any obstructions and place your yoga mat. Why yoga mats? It has better traction with any type of flooring and standing on your yoga mat prevents you from slipping or sliding as it helps add friction to where you stand.
- Step 1: As you stand on your yoga mat, begin with lifting your arms toward the sky. Then form a house-like figure with lifted arms.
- Step 2: As you are standing, make sure that the bodyweight is evenly distributed to both legs. Then shift the weight, first to the left leg and lift the other leg, fold the right knee and anchor the foot to the left knee.
- Step 3: Avoid putting pressure on the left knee and maintain the weight on the standing leg. Stay in this position and take 5 to 10 slow breathing sequences.
- Step 4: Your gazed should be focused on a non-moving space or object to help you focus on your balance. While doing the breathing exercise on this position, see to it that the body maintaining a straight posture.
- Step 5: After the breathing sequence, do the same steps using the right leg as the standing leg. You may also do variance in the arm position with the arms both lifter up making a V-shape.
The Tree Pose stretches the body as if the skies and the ground are pulling you on both sides. This stimulates the body core. With only one leg supporting the body, it helps strengthen the bones and the muscles which means you must do the Vrksasana using both legs alternately and evenly.
For advanced yogins, this standing asana can also be a substitute post to Tadasanas in the Sun Salutation exercise. Doing asana series are very beneficial as it amplifies the benefits of individual asanas.
Time to Try it Out
Whatever we are doing in our lives, balance is essential to a happy life. This is what the practice of yoga promotes. Just reflect on how trees keep their balance that even amidst the storms most of them still stand tall and firm.
Now that you’ve learned the traditional, the benefits, and the steps on doing the Tree Pose, it’s time for you to put this into practice and maintain the balance in your mind and body. Above all else, enjoy doing your yoga asanas and continue your journey as a modern yogin!