Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
Tree pose is a great way to usher in the warmer weather and create balance in our bodies and our families as we transition from winter to spring.
This balancing pose is great for all ages. Tree pose is often one of the first poses my youngest yogis love to do! The benefits of tree pose for our kids are vast including strengthening the legs and feet, stretching the shoulders, and balancing the mind, body, and soul. It also helps children to focus better and bolsters their self-esteem and confidence.
Start by imagining your tree roots growing down into the earth from the foot of your standing leg. Bend the knee of your other leg, and bring that foot to either alongside your ankle in a kickstand (good for toddler yogis), alongside your calf, or above your knee on your thigh. Be sure to not place your foot on your knee! Now imagine your roots drawing up water from the ground. This water travels up your standing leg and through your body and arms as you lift them up over your head as branches. What kind of tree are you? I'm a cherry tree!
Now have fun in this pose! Maybe a friend tries to blow you over with their strong windy exhale. Or maybe there's a subway running under the ground below you and you try to move and jiggle as much as you can without losing balance. Oh no!...a rainstorm has begun and your must weather the elements! Lastly, close your eyes and imagine the sun shining down on you, all is calm and quiet around as a robin begins to build a nest in your branches for it's family. It's interesting living life as a tree!
Partner Tree Pose: Stand side to side with a friend or family member. Grow your tree roots down of the feet that are closest to your partner's. Bend your other knee and bring it to where feels best along your standing leg (avoiding the knee). Your inner arms can wrap around your partner's back and your outer arms can meet together in prayer or reach high above your heads as branches.
Family Tree Pose: Create a forest with your family! Either stand in a circle and each be a tree holding hands, or each member does their own tree pose and stands tall in the family forest. You can do tree back to back as well, and hold hands in the air or sway your branches from side to side in the breeze. The options are endless! Just don't forget to switch your standing leg!
As we celebrate the freedom and new life this season brings,
Happy Spring to All.