HOW TO: Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

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Tree Pose is one of my favorite poses because it just feels great, it’s both comfortable and challenging at the same time. This is a beginner balancing pose and can be modified to make it more accessible no matter what your level.

Instructions
Begin standing on your yoga mat in Mountain Pose with your feet hip distance apart.

Slowly begin to shift your weight onto your right foot, gradually lifting your left foot off of the mat.  Externally rotate your hip and bring the sole of your left foot to the inside of your calf or the inside of your thigh.  Be sure to avoid placing your foot on the standing knee.  A modification for beginners is to keep the toes of the left foot on the mat.

Inhale and lift your arms overhead, keeping them stretched out or palms together.  You can also  choose to bring your hands to your heart’s center.

Press the sole of the left foot into the standing thigh and the thigh into the sole of the foot.  This motion of pushing them together will help your balance.

Keep your gaze eye level and straight out in front of you.  Try to focus on something still, to keep your balance.  For an extra challenge, try closing your eyes!

Benefits
Strengthens your thighs, calves, core and foot muscles

Stretches your inner thighs, groin, and shoulders

Improves posture

Improves balance and focus

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