Vriksasana or Vrksasana or Tree Pose

Benefits, Contraindications, Tips and How to Do

English Name(s)
Vriksasana, Tree Pose
Sanskrit
वृक्षासन / vṛkṣāsana
Pronunciation
vrik-SHAH-suh-nuh
Meaning
vriksa: “tree”
āsana: “posture”

Introduction

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 promote flexibility of the shoulders.

In a study it was found that adding “Vrksasana” poses to the traditional exercises of postmenopausal osteoporotic patients can increase their balance and strength.

Muscle Focus

Tree Pose focuses on several muscles such as

  • Leg Muscles (Soleus and other calf muscles)
  • Back muscles (Rhomboids)
  • Chest Muscles (Pectoralis)

Ideal For Health Conditions

  • To improve Body and Mind coordination
  • To activate pelvic muscles
  • It helps to align the spine
  • To increase focus and concentration

Benefits of Vriksasana or Vrksasana or Tree Pose

1. Improves Body and Mind Coordination

Vriksasana helps to develop a sense of balance and concentration, this improves coordination between the body and mind.

2. Stimulates Abdominal Organs

This pose helps to massage the abdominal organs, which aids in their proper functioning.

3. Reduces Flat Feet

Vriksasana helps to strengthen the muscles and ligaments around the feet, which reduces flat feet.

4. Relieves Sciatica

This pose helps to stretch the muscles and ligaments around the sciatic nerve, which relieves sciatica.

5. Therapeutic for High Blood Pressure

Vriksasana helps to regulate blood flow and lowers high blood pressure.

6. It is a Multiplanar Posture

Vriksasana is a multiplanar posture, which means it works on multiple planes or dimensions. On the physical level, Vriksasana tones and strengthens the muscles of the standing leg, from the hip all the way down to the ankle. It also builds bone density in the hips and legs due to the weight-bearing nature of the pose.

7. Helps to Activate Pelvic Muscles

The pelvic muscles play an important role in stabilizing the body during Vriksasana. When these muscles are activated, they help to create a solid foundation for the pose.

8. Builds Self-Confidence and Esteem

Vriksasana is often considered a challenging pose, and working through the challenges can build self-confidence and esteem.

Contraindications

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

Variations

  • Urdhva Hastotanasana (Palm Tree Pose)
  • Tree Pose with slight lateral bending

Preparatory Pose

  • Tadasana (Moutain Pose)
  • Urdhva Hastotanasana (Palm Tree Pose)

Beginner’s Tips

  • If you find it difficult to balance, focus on keeping your standing leg strong and engaged.
  • Try to keep your entire awareness centered on a single non-movable point in front of you.
  • Carefully maintain your balance as you breathe.
  • If you feel unsteady, don’t be afraid to come back down.

How to do Tree Pose

  • Assume Mountain Pose or Tadasana.
  • Shift your weight to your left foot and place the sole of your right foot high up on your left thigh.
  • If this isn’t possible, bring your right foot to the inside of your left ankle or calf. Use your hands to help guide your right foot into position.
  • Make sure your right knee is bent and that your right ankle and foot are pointing downwards.
  • Press firmly with your right foot and lift up through the ball of your left foot to lengthen your spine.
  • Once you are comfortable bring your palms together in the prayer position or Namaste at chest level or keep it overhead.
  • Stretch your arms upwards, keeping them parallel to the floor.
  • Look up and hold the pose for a few breaths.
  • Release your hands to your chest, then straighten your right leg and repeat on the other side.

Mental Benefits of Tree Pose

  • Help you find balance in your life.
  • Helps you to stay grounded.
  • Calms the mind

Bottom Line

Tree Pose is an excellent beginner’s yoga pose because it teaches you how to balance on one foot. It also strengthens the muscles of the standing leg and opens the hips and upper back. Vriksasana is a multiplanar posture, which means it works on multiple planes or dimensions. On the physical level, Vriksasana tones and strengthens the muscles of the standing leg, from the hip all the way down to the ankle. It also builds bone density in the hips and legs due to the weight-bearing nature of the pose.

1 sources
  1. https://journals.lww.com/ajpmr/Abstract/2022/03000/The_Effect_of_Yoga_Asana__Vrksasana__Tree_Pose__.8.aspx
Meera Watts
Meera Watts is the owner and founder of Siddhi Yoga. She is known around the world for her thought leadership in the wellness industry and was also recognized as a Top 20 International Yoga Blogger. Her writing on holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes and other international magazines. Meera is a yoga teacher and yoga therapist, though now she focuses primarily on leading Siddhi Yoga, blogging and spending time with her family in Singapore.

2 thoughts on “Vriksasana or Vrksasana or Tree Pose

  1. 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. 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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