(Vrikasana): Techniques, Benefits, Variations

Level – Beginner

Tree Pose

(Vrikasana)

Tree Pose Prep & Practice

1

Beginning in Mountain pose (Tadasana). Bring hands in prayer at heart center and begin to root into the right foot, bending the left knee and coming onto left toes. Focus your gaze slightly down and a few feet in front of you. Take a few breaths here, finding your focus as you prepare for the pose.

2

Bring your left foot to the inside of the right ankle, shin or thigh – taking care to avoid placing the foot on the knee. Left foot presses into the right leg, left thigh externally rotates from the hip.

3

Hips in neutral alignment, square forward, low abs firm in and up, muscles of right leg firm up as right foot grounds down.

4

Inhale arms up over head, biceps firm toward each other, fingers energized. Soften tops of shoulders away from the ears. Breath is steady, release any tension from the face as you maintain focused gaze.

5

To come out of the pose, on an exhalation lower leg and arms back down into Mountain (Tadasana), prepare for second side.

Variations/Modifications

  • Practice with foot on ankle and toes on floor (hip or knee issues)
  • Practice near wall or with back to a wall (balance issues)
  • Hands remain at heart center or come to hips (shoulder injury)

Physical, Mental and Emotional Benefits

  • Improves balance and focus
  • Strengthens feet, ankles, calves and thighs
  • Stretches inner thigh and tones outer hip muscles
  • Cultivates grounding and self-reliance

Contraindications

  • Hip or Knee injury (see modifications)
  • Balance Issues (see modifications)
  • Shoulder Injury (see modifications)

Thoughtful Sequencing

Mountain (Tadasana), Tree (Vrikasana), Inhale arms up, Exhale to heart 3X, Mountain (Tadasana), Inhale arms up, Exhale Forward Fold (Uttanasana) 3-5 breaths, Inhale to Mountain (Tadasana) 3-5 breaths, option to close eyes. Repeat sequence practicing Tree (Vrikasana) on other side, end in Mountain (Tadasana).

Want more yoga pose tutorials? See more in my Yoga Pose Directory.

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