How To Do The Vrikshasana And What Are Its Benefits

by Shirin Mehdi

Vriksasana or Tree Pose is an asana. Sanskrit:  वृक्षासन;  Vriksha – Tree, Asana – Pose; Pronounced as – vrik-SHAHS-anna

This posture is a close replica of the steady, yet graceful stance of a tree.The name comes from the Sanskrit words vriksa or vriksha (वृक्ष, vṛkṣa) meaning “tree”, and asana (आसन) meaning “posture”. For this pose, unlike most other yoga poses, you are required to keep your eyes open so that your body can balance itself. This asana has a host of benefits.

Everything You Need To Know About Vrikshasana

  1. What You Should Know Before You Do The Vrikshasana
  2. How To Do Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
  3. Contraindications And Precautions Of Vrikshasana
  4. Beginners Tips For Vrikshasana
  5. Advanced Pose Alterations
  6. Benefits Of Vrikshasana
  7. Science Behind Vrikshasana
  8. Preparatory Poses
  9. Follow- Up Poses

What You Should Know Before You Do The Vrikshasana

It is best to practice tree pose yoga on an empty stomach. There must be a minimum of four to six hours between your meal and the practice. This will give your body enough time to digest the food and energize your body, making it ready for activity.

However, it might be ideal to perform the Vrikshasana in the morning. This asana involves focus and concentration, and it is best to channelize this in the morning when your mind is clear of the worries and stress from the happenings of the day.

Level: Beginner
Style: Hatha Yoga
Repetitions: 1 Minute On Each Leg – Repeat 5 Times On Each Leg
Strengthens: Ankles, Thighs, Calves, Vertebral column
Stretches: Groin, Thighs, Shoulders, Thorax

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How To Do Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)

  1. Stand absolutely erect and drop your arms to the side of your body.
  2. Slightly bend your right knee, and then, place the right foot high up on your left thigh. Make sure that the sole is placed firm and flat on the root of the thigh.
  3. Your left leg needs to be absolutely erect. Once you have assumed this position, breathe, and find your balance.
  4. Now, inhale, and gently raise your arms over your head and bring them together in a ‘namaste’ mudra.
  5. Look straight at a distant object and hold your gaze. This will help you maintain balance.
  6. Keep your spine straight. Note that your body needs to be taut, yet elastic. Take in deep breaths, and every time you exhale, relax your body more.
  7. Gently bring your hands down from the sides, and release the right leg.
  8. Come back to the original position of standing tall and straight as you did at the beginning of the practice. Repeat this pose with the left leg.

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Contraindications And Precautions Of Vrikshasana

While practicing this yoga tree pose, you must ensure that the sole of the lifted foot is placed preferably above or, in some cases, below the standing knee, but never beside it. Placing the foot beside the knee puts pressure on the knee as it does not flex parallel to the frontal plane.

Those who suffer from high blood pressure should not raise their arms above the head for a long period of time. They can be held at the chest in the ‘anjali’ mudra.

It is best that you avoid practicing this pose if you suffer from insomnia or migraine.

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Beginners Tips For Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)

In the beginning, you might find it difficult to bring the left foot above the right knee. In such cases, you can place your foot below the knee. But, as mentioned earlier, never place the foot on your knee. Also, initially, it might be hard to stay steady and keep your balance. You could practice this asana by holding the wall for balance.

To enhance and aid concentration, take several deep breaths before the practice and also fix your gaze on an object right in front of you.

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Advanced Pose Alterations

To enhance your stability, you could stretch out your arms on your sides and place them on a wall beside you for maximum support.

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Benefits Of Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)

Vrikshasana has numerous benefits. Take a look at the good it can do to your body, if practiced regularly.

  1. It strengthens the spine while improving both balance and poise.
  2. It improves and aids neuro-muscular coordination.
  3. It tones the leg muscles while making the ligaments and tendons of the feet stronger.
  4. The knees become stronger, and the hip joints are loosened.
  5. The eyes, inner ears, and shoulders are also strengthened in this pose.
  6. It relieves those suffering from sciatica and reduces flat feet.
  7. It makes you stable, flexible, and patient. It enhances concentration and activates all the mental faculties.
  8. This pose helps to deepen the thorax.

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Science Behind Vrikshasana

This asana is mainly a balancing posture, and its main benefits lie in improving balance and enhancing the nervous system. When you balance, you are forced to focus your mind, and as you focus, you will realize you are balancing. When the mind wanders, so does the body. Stress and tension forbid you from balancing.

While stabilizing your mind and body through stretching, this asana also strengthens your joints and bones and expands the hips and chest. It loosens the shoulders and tones the arms as well.

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Preparatory Poses

  1. Trikonasana
  2. Virabhadrasana II
  3. Baddha Koṇāsana

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Follow-Up Poses

Standing Poses

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A healthy body needs to be accompanied by a sound mind. Vrikshasana not only activates metabolism but also helps to stabilize your mind. And in today’s world, striking that balance is extremely essential.

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Shirin Mehdi

A jack of many trades and a master of some, Shirin is a writer, a fashion designer, and a chef by her own acclaim. She loves food, and though she might want to call herself a great cook, she just falls short of seasoning. She also loves Yoga, and has extensive knowledge about the postures of the asanas. Always muddled up between traditions and modernism, she thinks she would have been a better fit in the vintage era. She loves life and believes in living it up to the fullest.