Vriksasana or Vrksasana (Tree Pose)

English Name(s)

Vriksasana, Tree Pose

Sanskrit

वृक्षासन / vṛkṣāsana

Pronunciation

vrik-SHAH-suh-nuh

Meaning

vriksa: “tree”
āsana: “posture”

Physical Benefits

Vrksasana (vrk-SHAH-suh-nuh) is a standing balancing pose. This pose strengthens the leg muscles and helps develop stability. This pose keeps the hip open and stretches the sides of the trunk, lower back and upper back. The arms stretched upwards promotes flexibility of the shoulders.

Energetic Benefits

Being a balancing pose, Vriksasana requires one to stay focused and present in the moment. As its name suggests, one becomes grounded and stable like the roots of a tree. The roots of a tree go deep into the ground and at the same time the tree rises upwards towards the sky. The deeper the roots, the higher the tree. The more we ground our body towards gravity the same force pushes us upward. Stability of the body and mind is most essential in the practice of yoga. Sage Patanjali clearly states in the Yoga Sutras that yoga is the restraint of the modifications of the mind. When the mind is calm, one is capable of living in peace. A tree gives shade to even the woodcutter who is cutting the tree down. Yogis are reminded of tolerance and calmness: the tree freely offers us shade, flowers, fruit and wood. In the same way a yogi is encouraged to develop friendliness (Maitrim) and compassion (Karunya) to all living beings as mentioned in the Yoga Sutras by Sage Patanjali. The practice of this pose can develop a stable and peaceful mind.

Contraindications

Those with high blood pressure should not lift their arms up, but keep their palms in Namaste at the center of the chest. For those who are frail or elderly, or have osteoporosis, inner ear conditions or balancing issues should take the pose with wall support for a shorter period of time. Those with fatigue should refrain from this pose.

Going into the Pose

 

2 Comments

  1. Marina /Reply

    Hello
    My name is Marina, I live in Georgia and have been practicing yoga for years.
    Vrksasana is a very comfortable pose to me and I keep in this pose with the hands up for 1 min. though I have osteoporosis, and according to the internet info this pose is nor good for osteoporosis, right?
    I would be very attentive to your recommendations

    1. Meera Watts /Reply

      Hi Marina,

      Osteoporosis is a condition where the body’s bone density goes down. Therefore anything, where sudden overload or jerking or power movements happens, should be avoided.

      However, in yoga even in vrksasana, there is no power movement or jerking movement happening. Therefore it’s safe to practice; in fact, with prolonged practice, it will improve the bone density and balance of the body due to body load.
      Recommendation:- to overcome osteoporosis, please keep continuing with medications and keep practicing yoga and overload the body progressively.

      Choose posters mainly where you can load the body for few breaths like High plank, Tadasana, Tree pose, downward facing dog and upward dog, etc … remember body will only get adapted to the training or imposed demands you put on it, which we commonly know as specific adaptations to imposed demands, therefore to gain bone density load training is necessary.

      Always listen to the body and start with timing and breaths you can comfortably sustain the posture

      Holistic approach:- Yoga is good for overall health; however, when things go beyond control into therapeutic conditions, then it may take very long to attain the benefits only by doing yoga.
      So pls do some load and resistance training under the supervision of a physical trainer to get back in health faster.

      Namaste!

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