Yoga poses that require us to stand on one leg give us an opportunity to find our center of gravity, and to play around with its edges. There is something innately frustrating about not being able to keep our balance, and without focus and concentration it’s very difficult to stay balanced on one leg. Tree pose is a fantastic pose to help build focus and concentration and its often surprising to see how different it can feel standing on one leg than the other, highlighting imbalances in the body.
How to do it-
From a standing position (Tadasana/Mountain Pose) slowly start to shift your weight onto your left foot.
Clasp hold of your right ankle with your right hand and slowly bring your right foot onto the left leg, placing it either on the inner thigh or inner calf, just not on the knee joint.
Like a Tree, root down with your standing left leg. Engage your quadriceps (the muscles on the front of the thigh) and draw your knee cap up.
Lengthen the spine (your trunk!). Imagine you have a string attached to the top of your head and it is being pulled towards the sky.
Raise your arms up above your head (your branches!), either with the palms together or apart. Relax your shoulders. Gazing at one point will help you to balance.
If you find this pose quite easy, try closing your eyes! It will enable you to feel the balance in a whole new way.
Hold tree pose and breathe deeply for 5 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
If you find it really difficult to balance, practice next to a wall. Place one hand on the wall and gradually let go, balance for a few seconds and then touch the wall again.
Improves sense of balance. Improves focus and concentration. Strengthens ankles, calves, thighs and spine. Stretches the inner thighs and groins as well as the chest and shoulders Relieves sciatica and reduces flat feet.
If you have high blood pressure, avoid raising your arms over your head.