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Yoga Tree Pose: Vrksasana: Vrksasana, meaning “tree pose,” is a standing balancing yoga posture. Standing on the floor, your foot is like the root of a tree and your arms are stretching up like branches. Just as the roots of a tree support its trunk and branches, our feet and legs must become the firm base that holds the entire weight of our body and allows balance. By having to stand on one leg, we practice concentration and help stop the thought process in our minds. It’s as if we are preparing the ground to cultivate our inner stillness and silence. Below are how to do tree pose and benefits of tree pose.

Tree Pose or Vrksasana: vrks = tree / asana = pose

How to do Tree Pose

1.  Start standing in tadasana, or mountain pose. Look forward and stare at one point. Breathe deeply and direct attention to your breath. Stand with your feet together, inner ankles and inner knees touching. Bring your hands together in front of your chest in “anjali mudra”. Move your awareness to the soles of your feet, spreading your toes. Start cultivating a feeling of stillness, grounding and presence.

2. Softly bend your left knee and shift your weight onto your right foot. Place the sole of your left foot on your inner right ankle, side of your shin or inner right thigh. Square both hips forward, maintaining your left knee pointed out to the left.

3. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor and lift your chest slightly, radiating your heart forward. Bring your gaze directly to a focal point in front of you to help you balance. Reaching equilibrium, raise your palms above your head, clasp them together or keep them separate.

4. Take five to 10 cleansing breaths, lengthening and expanding on every inhalation and “rooting down” (pressing your standing foot into the ground) on every exhalation. On your last exhalation, release the left leg back down and the hands together in front of your heart. Press your thumbs gently against your chest, letting you feel your heartbeat and noting every sensation in your body. Repeat on the other side.

Be mindful

• Avoid turning out the foot of your standing, supporting leg, to prevent misalignment on the supporting knee and hip.

• Avoid placing the sole of your foot on the knee of your opposite standing leg. Keep your foot on the inner thigh, shin or ankle of the standing leg instead.

Benefits of Tree Pose

Physically

• Strengthens your thighs, calves, ankles and spine.

• Stretches your groin and inner thighs, chest and shoulders.

• Improves your sense of balance and corrects your posture.

• Opens your hips and expand your range of motion.

Mentally

Improves your ability to concentrate and strengthens the power you have to direct your undivided attention to where it is wanted.

Energetically

Helps activate your base and sacral chakras — “recycling chakras”— changing negative emotional energies into power and light.

This keeps your “energy body”  clean, returning to earth any “toxic waste energy” that the body cannot cope with.