Balance Poses

Throughout vrikshasana, keep your breathing steady and regular so it doesn't interfere with your balance.

1. Begin in tadasana, the mountain pose.

2. Bring your hands together in front of your chest with your palms together (as if you were praying).

3. Bring your left leg up and balance the sole of your left foot on the inner thigh of your right leg, as high as you are able. If it's been a "vida loca" kind of day and you have a hard time balancing on one foot, keep your toes on the ground, turn your one knee out to open the hips, then simply balance the heel against your ankle. It's amazing how calming and balancing this pose can be!

4. Raise your arms over your head, keeping your palms together.

5. Return to tadasana, then repeat with the right leg.

Ouch!

In vrikshasana, be careful not to raise one hip higher than the other. Keep your hips even by lowering the position of your foot on your inner thigh. Bend your straight knee slightly. If you become aware that you are hyper-extending it, then, with awareness, stop hyper-extending the knee: Straighten it with awareness. If your knees are sore after doing this pose, you probably are hyper-extending.

6. Getting Started: If you find it too difficult to balance in tadasana, you can vary the pose slightly. Bring the sole of your foot to your opposite leg's inner calf instead of the thigh, or even rest it against your opposite ankle, to get a more secure feeling of the balance before hiking that foot all the way up to the opposite thigh. Also, you can leave your palms apart when you raise your arms. This great separation between your hands can help you balance more easily. When you feel more confident in the pose, you can bring that foot up and those palms together.

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