The Yoga Posture of the week is The Tree Pose or Vrksasana: The Bikram Yoga world calls this post Tadasana which is not entirely accurate. When one brings their hands together at the heart the hand symbol or Mudra, creates the mountain. Mountain in Sanskrit is Tasasana. We do this Mudra after bringing the foot to the thigh. However, if one wants to call this Yoga Pose Tadasana then I suggest you then say Mountain Pose.

TREE POSE, (VRKSASANA)

 

Beginners:

If you have any existing knee issues, be very careful and modify by bringing your foot only as high as your knee will allow. Go slow to avoid any discomfort or strain and hold onto the foot with the opposite hand for support. Another modification is to place the bottom of the foot on the inner thigh and turn your knee out to the side. You will still be able to open the hip and avoid any stress to the knee. Focus your eyes on one point (this is called Drishti in Sanskrit), on the floor about eight feet in front of you for better balance.

Intermediate:

Before you bring both hands to your chest in Namaskar, assuming your practicing the right side; hold your right foot with your left hand and raise your arm hand up toward the ceiling. This will help lengthen your upper torso, creating space between your ribcage and hips. Then place your right hand down to your chest in Namaskar. Don’t let your back arch, turn your tailbone down to a neutral position.

Advanced:

Make sure your heel is directly below your navel. Many students with flexible hips bring their foot too high. Placing the heel underneath the navel allows you to square and open the hips. Visualize your hip as a hinge and your knee as a little gate that swings open according to the flexibility in the hips. Don’t force the knee, release the hip. This will take most of pressure away from the knees. Assuming you’re practicing the right side, first extend your right knee toward the right wall and then work it back. This will raise the right hip thus squaring both hips. Proper alignment in this case is symmetric: Your shoulders, hips, and knees are square to the front (Mirror).