Thursday, May 1, 2008

Pose of the Month: Vrksasana (Tree Pose)

When I observe trees I am reminded of the delicate balance of grounding, rooting into the earth and ascending, reaching towards the sky. Practice tree pose and experience the balance of levity and gravity like a tree.

Stand in Tadasana. Shift your weight slightly onto the left foot, keeping the inner foot rooted firmly into the floor, and bend your right knee. Reach down with your right hand and clasp your right ankle.

Draw your right foot up and place the sole against the inner left thigh; if possible, press the right heel into the inner left groin, toes pointing toward down the floor. The center of your pelvis should be directly over the left foot.

Rest your hands on the top rim of your pelvis. Make sure the pelvis is in a neutral position, with the top rim parallel to the floor.

Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Firmly press the right foot sole against the inner thigh and resist with the outer left leg. Press your hands together in Anjali Mudra (prayer). Gaze softly at a fixed point in front of you on the floor about 4 or 5 feet away.

Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Step back to Tadasana with an exhalation and repeat for the same length of time with the legs reversed.

Strengthens thighs, calves, ankles, and spine
Stretches the groins and inner thighs, chest and shoulders
Improves sense of balance
Relieves sciatica

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