Vrksasana or Tree Pose

Benefits, Contraindications, Tips and How to Do

English Name(s)
Tree Pose
वृक्षासन / vṛkṣāsana
“Vrksa” (वृक्ष) means “tree”
“Asana” (आसन) means “pose” or “posture”

Vrksasana at a Glance

Vrksasana, or the Tree Pose, is a standing balance pose that compares with the stability and grace of a mighty tree. The pose is named so because it requires you to stand tall and steady like a tree rooted to the ground. It is a meditative pose that integrates our body, mind, and breath. Due to its simplicity, it is the first standing balance asana taught to beginners in their yoga practice.


  • Improves balance and awareness of your body.
  • The pose involves quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles, thus helping them to strengthen them over time.
  • It enhances flexibility in the hip joint and increases mobility.
  • It enhances mental clarity and focus.

Who can do it?

Tree Pose is good for individuals with normal balance, beginners, those seeking improved focus, and people working on leg strength, stress relief, and posture enhancement.

Who cannot do it?

People with recent leg injuries, chronic joint problems, vertigo, uncontrolled High Blood Pressure, pregnancy, severe foot or ankle, knee joint pain, or any medical condition should avoid this yoga pose.


Vrksasana called the Tree Pose in yoga, is a standing balance and hip-opener posture that includes physical stability and spiritual growth. In this pose, you stand on one leg with the other bent and resting against the inner thigh. Your arms are typically raised, resembling branches. Hence, it is named a tree pose. It is one of the simplest yoga poses known.


The standing leg involves rootedness with the Earth Muladhara (root) chakra, which is associated with stability, security, and Groundedness. The balance in the pose regulates the Sacral (Svadhisthana) chakra’s fluidity, aiding harmony in movement. Your heart center engages, linking to the Anahata chakra, symbolizing balance, compassion, and love. The raised arms signify a connection to higher consciousness, aligning with the Crown (Sahasrara) chakra.


Just as a tree stands in balance with its roots firmly grounded and branches reaching for the sky, Tree Pose teaches us that finding a balance between opposing forces—such as strength and flexibility, stability and movement—is essential for our well-being. The rootedness of the standing leg in the Tree Pose represents our connection to the Earth and our foundation and staying grounded and connected to our roots. The raised arms and open chest remind us to strive for self-improvement continuously.

Spiritual Meaning

The yoga pose is a lovely meditative yoga pose that begins with an integration of our body, mind, and breath that emulates the qualities of a tree: grace, tolerance, strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance. The pose increases mind/body awareness as compared to other poses.

How to Do Vrksasana?

Follow the Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Stand straight with your feet together, weight evenly distributed on both feet, arms by your sides, and palms facing forward. Stay balanced, keep your spine elongated and reach tall.
  2. Balance firmly onto your left leg, lift your right leg from the ground, and externally rotate towards the right hip to reach the standing leg. Fix your gaze in front to find focus without any strain on the right ankle.
  3. Bring your hands together in front of your chest in a prayer pose (Anjali Mudra). Engage your core muscles to maintain stability and balance. Keep your hips square and avoid leaning to one side without strain on the right hip.
  4. Inhale, slowly raise your joined hands above your head. Keep your shoulder blades relaxed and away from your ears. Here, the core stretches, keeping it comfortable with the spine straight.
  5. Maintain your gaze on your chosen point of focus and avoid falling. Engage core. Maintain deep, steady breaths. Find your center. Release the pose slowly and switch sides with small movements.

What are the Benefits of Vrksasana?

Balance Improvement:

It enhances balance and coordination by challenging your body to maintain stability on one leg.


The yoga pose strengthens the muscles of the legs, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves, as well as stabilizing muscles around the ankle and foot.

Core Activation:

Balancing in Vrksasana engages the active core muscles, thus helping to improve core strength and stability.

Ankle Stability:

The yoga pose helps to increase strength and the muscles responsible for ankle stability, thus reducing the risk of sprains.

Improved Focus:

The concentration required for good balance involves mental focus and presence, promoting mindfulness. Hence, it’s a good yoga pose for people seeking improved focus.

Hip Flexibility:

The hip of the raised leg experiences gentle opening, which can help improve hip flexibility over time.

Posture Enhancement:

Naturally, the spine becomes straight as you practice this yoga pose.

Stress Reduction:

The even breath throughout the yoga pose helps reduce stress over a while.

Health Conditions that Might Benefit from Vrksasana

People with poor balance and coordination can benefit from the Tree Pose, which focuses on improving stability and balance.

  • Those with weak ankles can strengthen their ankle stabilizer muscles through the regular practice of Vrksasana.
  • People with leg weakness due to conditions like muscle imbalances or post-injury recovery can work on strengthening their legs using this pose.
  • The pose’s calming and meditative aspects can aid in reducing stress and anxiety levels.
  • Practicing the Tree Pose encourages a straight spine and an open chest, making it beneficial for individuals correcting their posture.
  • The need to concentrate during balancing poses can help enhance focus and mental clarity.
  • The Tree pose’s hip-opening aspect can assist in addressing better balance and improving overall hip mobility and flexibility.
  • People with mild sciatic discomfort benefit through gentle hip opening and stretching in VRKSASANA.

Safety and Precautions

  • People with injured ankles, knees, or lower body parts should avoid the pose.
  • People with severe hip injuries, replacements, or chronic hip pain should modify the pose.
  • Balancing poses like vrksasana can temporarily increase blood pressure. Those with uncontrolled high blood pressure should avoid it.
  • If you experience dizziness or vertigo, vrksasana can worsen the sensation, so practice with the help of a certified yoga teacher.
  • Pregnant individuals should avoid excessive balance poses as their center of gravity changes.
  • Those with severe foot issues (like plantar fasciitis) or unstable ankles should approach the pose carefully or use props.
  • Avoid overarching the spine in this yoga pose if you have low back pain.
  • People with frequent migraines or headaches might find focus and balance challenging.

Vrksasana and Breath

  • As you stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), preparing to transition into the tree pose, stay balanced, take a deep and feel steady. Open your chest and expand your belly.
  • As you shift your weight onto one leg and lift the opposite leg to place the lifted foot on the inner thigh, exhale. This is a vulnerable position to fall, so maintain steady breath. The exhalation helps you engage your core and find stability.
  • Raise your arms overhead and inhale deeply. Feel the expansion in your chest, creating a sense of openness and connection. Focus on maintaining a steady breath. Keep the knee of your standing leg soft.
  • A controlled and conscious exhale can help you stabilize and find your balance. Synchronize your breath with the movement. Inhale for expansion and exhale for stability.
  • A deep and controlled breath can help calm any nervousness affecting your balance. Exiting the pose, exhale as you lower your arms and gently release your left leg.
  • Return to Mountain Yoga Pose and take a few breaths. Use a folded blanket to modify the pose if required.

Physical Alignment Principles of Vrksasana

  • Physical alignment is essential in doing the posture correctly. Even if you are following all the steps but your alignment is not correct, you may not be able to benefit from the pose.
  • In Vrksasana, as you balance on one leg, keep your entire weight firmly on one leg with your spine straight. Keep your shoulder relaxed and away from your ears. There should not be any strain on your neck. The lifted leg should be according to your flexibility. You can keep it deep on the opposite leg or modify it a little lower on the opposite leg.
  • Stand against a wall for support, if needed. Maintain deep breaths throughout the pose. The folded leg should not shake. Keep it firmly on the opposite leg. Your naval should be pulled in. Open your chest. Engage your core. Keep your hands up over your head, do not lean in front.

Common Mistakes

  • Do not start the practice without a warm-up.
  • Keep your body relaxed during the pose.
  • Keep your spine lifted and maintain the natural curve of the spine.
  • Do not round your shoulder and do not hinge forward during the pose.
  • Practice mindfully. Modify the pose accordingly if there is any pain or strain in any part during the practice.

Vrksasana and Variations

Common Variations

Wall Support Variation:

Stand beside the wall and face the wall. Place the sole of the bent leg’s foot against the standing leg’s inner thigh, and use the wall for the support. Slowly put your hands together in the prayer position.

Chair Variation:

Stand beside a chair and hold the backrest. Place the bent leg’s sole against the standing leg’s inner thigh. Use a chair to find balance. Do not lock the knees of your standing leg. This variation is excellent for those who have balance issues.

Strap Variation:

Hold the strap with both hands as you bend your leg and raise your bending foot to the standing foot. This variation helps people with limited flexibility in reaching the foot. The strap helps as support to raise the leg. And maintains a firm foundation of the standing foot.

Block Variation:

Place a yoga block horizontally on the floor next to your standing leg. Place the bent leg on the block, either at calf or thigh height. The block raises the foot so it helps to reach the pose easily. Keep the standing leg firm and the lifted foot comfortable.

Wall Mirror Variation:

Stand near a full-length mirror with the side of your body facing it. Use the mirror to check your alignment and balance as you practice the pose. You can visualize your form with this and so find help accordingly.

Partner Assist Variation:

Hold hands with your partner, standing beside you for support and balance. Your partner can gently help in maintaining balance and proper alignment.

Challenging Variations


The pose challenges balance, stretches, tones side waists, and builds inner strength. Follow step-by-step instructions and practice gradually.

Ardha Padmasana:

 Here, the lifted leg gets a deeper hip opening.


This poses challenges to your strength with your oblique muscles and arms.

Adho Mukho Vrksasana:

This is an inversion to boost your energy levels and blood flow.

Other Variations

Simple Vrksasana Variation, Extended hands variation, Eagle Arms Variation, Floating variation, half bound lotus variation, variation with Backbend, supported variation, Tree Pose side bend, Tree Pose volcano Pose arms, Palm Tree Pose side bend variations elbows, Double Tree Pose and beginner tree pose.

Deepening the Pose

Tree Pose can be challenged by finding your balance by closing your eyes. You can also challenge the pose by touching the palms overhead. Practice Tree Pose consistently to deepen your pose.

Beginner’s Tips

Always keep the knee of your straight leg soft. It should not be locked. Press the foot firmly onto the floor, but you should be able to move it to find the balance simultaneously. Involve the muscles of the leg, hips, and glutes and engage the core to get stability and balance. Avoid standing on uneven surfaces. Follow step-by-step instructions carefully. This is one of the best yoga poses a beginner can start with. Keep the entire body firm during the pose.

Preparatory Poses

Tadasana (MountainPose), Ankle Circles and Toe Flexes Standing Forward Fold, Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana), Warrior II (VirabhadrasanaII), Chair Pose (Utkatasana), Simple Balance Poses, Visualization, Badha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose), Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose), Balasana (Child’s Pose).

Counter Pose

Forward Fold (Uttanasana), Mountain Pose (Tadasana), Standing Backbends, Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana), Warrior Poses (Virabhadrasana I and II), Child’s Pose (Balasana), Tree Poseon the Other Side, Leg Stretching, Supine Twist, Savasana(Corpse Pose)

Follow-Up Poses

Warrior Poses (Virabhadrasana I and II), Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana), Triangle Pose (Trikonasana), Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana), Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana), Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana), Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana), Eagle pose (Garudasana), Corpse Pose (Savasana), Meditation or Pranayama, Any Gentle Restorative Pose.


What is the spiritual meaning of the tree pose?

The pose means steady body, calm mind, and teaches. It teaches you to be strong, supple, and rooted without being rigid.

What are the various muscles used in the tree pose?

Tree Pose includes glutes, hamstrings, hips-external, hips, knees, and quadriceps.

What does the Tree Pose focus on?

It mainly focuses on the legs and core. It also opens the hips and stretches the inner thigh and groin muscles.

How long does it take to hold a tree pose?

Hold the Tree Pose for 10 to 20 seconds or three to eight breaths. You can increase the time to a minute on each side with practice.

What is the key element of tree pose?

The grounding action of the weight-bearing foot (represents the roots of a tree grounding) and the lengthening of the arms above the head (represents the branches growing upwards) are the key elements to get to the balancing pose.

What is the longest time to hold the tree pose?

The longest time to hold the Tree Pose (yoga) is 7 hr 53 min. and was got by Yash Moradiya (India) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on 24 October 2022.

Take Away

The yoga pose is an asana to explore the harmony within our bodies and minds and our connection to the natural world. It reminds us of the interplay between dualities in life—strength and flexibility, stability and movement. The pose’s variations can be helpful to different individuals, making it easily accessible to beginners while offering challenges to experienced practitioners. Just as a tree stands rooted to the Earth while reaching the sky, it teaches us to find equilibrium between grounding and expansion. This asana included in the Hatha yoga practice is a Sthira Sukham Asana. Practice Tree Pose to get the maximum benefit.

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Meera Watts
Meera Watts is the owner and founder of Siddhi Yoga International. She is known worldwide for her thought leadership in the wellness industry and was 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. She got the Top 100 Entrepreneur of Singapore award in 2022. Meera is a yoga teacher and therapist, though now she focuses primarily on leading Siddhi Yoga International, blogging and spending time with her family in Singapore.


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