5 Keys to a better Tree Pose
1-A firm foundation-Begin by mindfully placing all four corners of your foot on the floor (both sides of the heel, big toe mound & little toe mound) Lift & spread all your toes & place them down firmly. Imagine your toes to be like roots, grounding into the floor. Strength and flexibility in the foot and lower leg can make all the difference in your Tree Posture.
2-A solid gaze-Find a spot that’s not moving, a “Dristi” spot. Hold this spot clearly in your vision. By keeping your eyes on the Dristi, you will increase your balance dramatically.
3-A gathering energy-When you bring the foot to the inside of the leg, it’s important to gather your energy in and up. Think of squeezing in, and lifting. One of the chief complaints I hear about Tree Pose is that the foot slides down the yoga pants. To keep this from happening, the foot AND the standing leg must press against each other, gathering energy toward the center. Also, we want to lift the pelvic floor, for strength and stabilization, gathering the energy upward.
4-An open heart-Often we find ourselves just focused on the balance in Tree Pose. But we also must remember the upper body to obtain the lightness and freedom associated with this posture. Shoulders are back, and the sternum (the big bone in your chest) is lifted here. Imagine floating your collar bones closer to the sky, and spreading open the front of the chest.
5-A humble ego-While we all want to do the perfect ‘Yoga Journal” pose, that’s not always in the cards. Honor your body. Maybe you need to keep your toes on the ground, or just barely bring the foot up. That’s ok. Maybe, especially if you’re just beginning yoga, you might even want to put a finger on a wall, until your balance gets stronger. Listen to your body, and practice in the NOW.