Tree pose is often taught in beginner classes, but don’t be fooled – this is not an easy relaxing pose.
It is good to build balance, to activate, and to tone!
In this pose, it is easy to fall out of alignment. To find yourself wobbly, uncentered, and with your foot sliding down your leg.
Here are some tips and alignment cues to perfect and strengthen your Tree!
1. Place the foot above or below the knee. The knee itself is not meant to have all that pressure pushing it sideways (as a hinge joint it bends backwards).
2. This pose is an external hip rotation. What that means is both hip bones should be pointing forward. The lifted leg should be turned outwards, so the knee points to the side. The external rotation should be throughout the entire leg. What the hip is doing, so too should the knee, ankle, and toes.
3. As much as the foot pushes in to the leg, the leg must push back. With just the weight of the elevated foot pressing into the standing leg, the hip is going to stick out. Push back with the standing leg for a dynamic engagement.
4. Keep the hips even. Drawing the standing leg in towards the midline.
5. Don’t curl and clench the toes. Instead lift up through the arch of the standing foot. Engage the quads, and keep a microbend in the knee.
6. Find length. Lifting out of the low back. Keep the floating ribs in.
7. Place the hands and arms wherever you like. Bringing them together at the heart, keeping them on the hips, or extending them like branches over head.