Vrikshasana is among the oldest yoga asanas known to us. There are many shreds of evidence of this asana being practiced in ancient Indian civilizations. The rock relief of Descent of the Ganges (Mahabalipuram), which has a man’s carving in Vrikshasana yoga pose, is one of them.
Moreover, the ancient Indian mythology Ramayana also has references to this yoga pose. The king of Lanka Ravana stood in Vrikshasana for penance, praying to lord Shiva for a boon.
Additionally, according to another Hindu legend, the yogi king Bhagirath stood in Vrikshasana for a long time to appease the god Shiva and to be allowed to bring the sacred river Ganges from heaven to earth.
Level of Difficulty: Beginner/Intermediate
It is a balancing posture that replicates the graceful, steady stance of a tree. The pose gets its name from two Sanskrit words: Vriksha and Asana.
|Sanskrit||Vrikshasana / वृक्षासन|
|Alternate (mis)spellings||Vriksasana, Vrksasana|
Below are the steps you can follow to practice Vrikshasana or the Tree Pose
- First, stand tall and straight.
- Then, bend your right knee and place your right foot high up on the inside of your left thigh. Your foot should be flat, facing downward.
- Now, try to find your balance but make sure that your left leg is straight.
- Once you feel steady, gently raise your hands overhead and bring your palms together in ‘Namaste’ mudra while taking a deep breath.
- Finally, look straight ahead in front of you, at a distant object. A steady gaze helps maintain a stable balance.
- Keep length in your spine and continue breathing deeply. Hold the pose for around 10-15 seconds.
- Slowly bring your hands down to your sides with a slow exhalation.
- Now, bring your right leg to the ground and return to the initial position.
- Repeat Tree Pose yoga with the other leg.
Below is a list of a few benefits of Vrikshasana or the Tree Pose
- This pose is believed to reduces the risk of sciatica.
- It also brings balance and concentration to mind.
- Additionally, it improves physical balance.
- Vrikshasana helps tone the leg muscles and strengthen the hips and pelvic region.
- It is also helpful towards improving your posture.
- If you have vertigo or migraine issues, then avoid doing this asana.
- People with high blood pressure may practice Vrikshasana yoga in moderation, keeping their hands at chest level and not raising them overhead as this could compound high blood pressure.
- Since this pose is believed to invigorate and rejuvenate the body, it is advisable to avoid it if you have got insomnia issues.
- Pregnant women can practice Vrikshasana until their second trimester but should avoid it in their third/last trimester.
Modifications and Variations
You can also place your foot below or above the knee if placement in the inner thigh is too tricky for you.
Pro tip: Use the ankle as a kickstand, propping the foot upon the inner ankle with the toes on the ground for balance.
On the other hand, to make Vrikshasana yoga pose a little more challenging, close your eyes and do your best to hold the pose without wavering.