It’s often said that life is about balance. In yoga, we practice balance postures to enable us to learn that balance is fluid, and sometimes fleeting. Not only can our balance be different right to left but also day to day, hour to hour, and minute by minute. This tree pose sequence is a test of balance.
This 20-minute class progresses through tree pose variations from beginner to advanced. With each repetition through the pose you choose to decide to stay with the modification that works for you and your balance today. Not sure about tree pose? Check out this post for tips and tricks!
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After grounding ourselves into the practice bend the knees placing the feet on the floor and begin moving through arch and flatten followed by windshield wipers. These two movements are ones I do almost every class because they are just great for mobilizing the spine and hips.
For a specific movement to warm up, next we perform crunches with external rotation of the hip. By placing one foot across the opposite knee we create a similar action we need for tree pose later. The progression is to draw the knees up towards the chest.
After repeating the crunch on the opposite side, bring the knees to the chest, sweep the legs around and come onto all fours. Another movement I do most practices is cat cow. It just feels great.
No class is complete without downward-facing dog so lift the hips and peddle through the feet in downward dog. This mobilizes the ankles and feet. Settle for a few breaths, then step to the front on the mat to forward fold before rising to standing.
Tree Pose Sequence
This 20-minute tree pose sequence plays with the variations of the pose. The first variation is to have the heel rest on the inside of the opposite ankle. Upper body variations are either hands at the hips, heart or reaching overhead.
Further variations in this tree pose sequence are to lift the foot up to the inside edge of the opposite calf. Then the most challenging is to bring the foot towards the opposite inner thigh. For both of these variations you have the option to use a wall or chair for support if balance is an issue.
You’ll perform the pose three times on each side, and each time progressing from the modification before moving on to the more challenging option. This allows you to decide to stay where you feel the challenge. Once repeated three times it’s back down to the floor to cool down and relax.
- How is your balance?
- Which variation of tree pose do you practice?
- Is there anything you find challenging about tree?