Tree pose

Vrikshasana

Categories:
Balance, Strength, Hip opener, Shoulder opener

The tree pose helps train balance and focus, while strengthening the inside and outside of the legs, ankles and tones the abdomen.

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Step by step explanation

The Butterfly pose or Baddha Konasana can be done by

  1. Start by standing tall with your arms relaxed by your sides. Spread your toes apart and bring your weight towards the middle of your feet.
  2. Activate your left leg, keeping a slight bend in the knee and begin to shift your weight towards your left leg.
  3. Keep gazing to a point in front of you as you make your right leg light, lifting the heel up and just balancing on your left big toe. Depending on how balanced you feel you can choose where to place your right foot, either on top of the left foot, against your left leg below your knee or with the help of your hands above your left knee.
  4. Keep activating your left leg and ground through your left big toe, as you press your right foot against the inside of your left leg, and at the same time press your left leg back against your right foot. Draw the right knee back to open the right hip.
  5. From here, place the hands first in front of your heart and then, on the next inhale, extend your arms up towards the ceiling, spreading your arms apart. Lift and lengthen your torso, finding a lift also in your lower belly.
  6. Keep an active upper posture, where you reach your chest a little forward and up, straightening your arms and reaching your fingertips up towards the ceiling.
  7. Keep the gaze of your eyes looking down and try to stay focussed and calm, while standing in this position. If you want to challenge your balance, you can even close your eyes.
  8. Stay here for at least five long breaths.
  9. To release the pose, bring the palms back together in front of your heart and then place your right foot down next to your left. Change and repeat for the other leg.
  10. Now activate your right leg, keeping a slight bend in the knee and begin to shift your weight towards your right leg this time.
  11. Keep gazing to a point in front of you, as you make your left leg light, lifting the heel up and just balancing on your left big toe. Place your left foot in the same position against the right leg, as you did on the opposite side.
  12. Keep activating your right leg and ground through your right big toe, as you press your left foot against the inside of your right leg, and at the same time press your right leg back against your left foot. Draw the left knee back to open the left hip.
  13. From here place the hands first in front of your heart and then, on the next inhale, extend your arms up towards the ceiling, spreading your arms apart. Lift and lengthen your torso, finding a lift also in your lower belly.
  14. Keep an active upper posture, where you reach your chest a little forward and up, straightening your arms and reaching your fingertips up towards the ceiling.
  15. Keep the gaze of your eyes looking down and try to stay focussed and calm, while standing in this position. If you want to challenge your balance you can again close your eyes.
  16. Stay here for at least five long, deep breaths.
  17. To release the pose, bring the palms back together in front of your heart and then place your left foot down, next to your right. Coming back to standing with your arms along your sides.

Cautions

Read the following cautions to stay safe

  • Because this can be a challenging exercise for your balance, make sure you are not experiencing headaches or dizziness.
  • If you are concerned about anything of this pose, please contact your physician on whether this practice is good for you.

Making the pose easier

  • If you have a difficult time resting your foot on the opposite leg’s inner thigh, place the foot below the knee or simply place one foot on top of the other foot.
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Suggested preparation poses

Suggested follow-up poses