"Yoga is appropriate for just about everyone. Children who take it up can easily become as skillful as adults. For older people, it is a great nonaerobic conditioner. For athletes, it can provide flexibility and centering."
-- Andrew Weil, M.D.
Vrksasana clarifies just how challenging it can be to stand on one leg.
Vrksasana (vrik-SHAHS-anna) vrksa = tree
Step by Step of the Tree Pose:
1. Stand in Tadasana. Shift your weight slightly onto the left foot, keeping the inner foot firm to the floor, and bend your right knee. Reach down with your right hand and clasp your right ankle.
2. Draw your right foot up and place the sole against the inner left thigh; if possible, press the right heel into the inner left groin, toes pointing toward the floor. The center of your pelvis should be directly over the left foot.
3. Rest your hands on the top rim of your pelvis. Make sure the pelvis is in a neutral position, with the top rim parallel to the floor.
4. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Firmly press the right foot sole against the inner thigh and resist with the outer left leg. Press your hands together in Anjali Mudra. Gaze softly at a fixed point in front of you on the floor about 4 or 5 feet away.
5. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Step back to Tadasana with an exhalation and repeat for the same length of time with the legs reversed.
Watch a demonstration of this pose:
Strengthens thighs, calves, ankles and spine
Stretches the groins and inner thighs, chest and shoulders
Contraindications/Cautions - Use caution if you are currently or have experienced any of the following:
Low blood pressure
High blood pressure: Don't raise arms overhead
Modifications & Props
You can stand with your back braced against a wall if you feel unsteady in this pose.
Stretch your arms straight up toward the ceiling, parallel to each other, palms facing, or touch the palms together forming an inverted V with the arms.
If your raised foot tends to slide down the inner standing thigh, put a folded sticky mat between the raised-foot sole and the standing inner thigh.
Deepen the Pose
As with Tadasana, you can challenge your balance by practicing this pose with your eyes closed. Learn to balance without any reference to the outer environment.
If you are practicing Virasana with arms raised overhead, a partner can help you lift and lengthen your arms. First raise your arms perpendicular to the floor. Have your partner stand behind you and press inward against your outer upper arms, then lift your outer arms toward the ceiling. At the same time, draw your inner arms downward, from the wrists to the tops of the shoulders.
Please consult your physician before starting this or any exercise program.
This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here