Tree Poses

Tree is one of the great poses. I do it most mornings even when I have time for little else. It engages your butt in ways that will help you sit better and also help how you stand and walk.

Reclined Tree

Start here. Feel how to align and engage the pose while you are stable and fully supported on the mat.

Get on your back on the mat and use a pillow for your head if that is more comfortable. Extend one leg straight along the mat pushing that heel away from your shoulder. Point the front of that thigh and the front of your pelvis straight up at the ceiling.

Bring your other knee up and keep that foot on the mat beside your extended straight leg. Let your bent knee fall open to the side. You can use a pillow to support your knee. Keep the front of your pelvis pointing straight up.

Put the sole of your foot on the inside of your extended leg but not on your knee, and let the outside edge of that foot rest on the mat. If you can, put your kneel on the inside of your thigh and put your toes near but not on your knee. And rest in this position.

Engage your butt on the side of your straight leg to tilt your pelvis back a little and feel as you extend along the front of your hip. Engage your butt on the side of your bent knee to pull that knee a bit closer to the mat and feel as you extend your groin. Hold how you engage both sides of your butt then release slowly. Then do it again. Then do your other side the same way, then do both again.

Lift the foot of your bent leg off the mat and press it firmly against the inside of your straight extended leg, but not on the knee. Then engage your butt both ways, hold, and relax slowly. Then repeat, then do your other side, then do both again.

Seated Tree

black modern dining chair without arms on white background

Sit on a firm chair of standard height like a dining chair. Shift sideways on the chair and let one leg fall off the chair.

Kneeling Tree

yoga pose, tree pose kneeling, human man figure nude from behind

This is my favorite variation to teach. It allows you to move more than when reclined but is also stable. I can better guide how you align your pelvis and engage muscles.

Get on one knee on the mat. Have your butt just a little behind your lower knee.

Swing your raised knee out to the side only as far as comfortable. It doesn’t matter how far. Keep your knee directly above your ankle to avoid strain.

Supported Tree

Stand beside a firm chair of standard height, like a dining chair. Face in the same direction as the back of the chair with your feet parallel to the side of the chair. And rest your nearer hand on the back of the chair.

Put your near foot on the seat of the chair. Swing your raised knee out to the side only as far as comfortable. It doesn’t matter how far. Keep that knee directly above your ankle to avoid strain.

Standing Tree

two nude human men figures doing tree pose (vriksasana)

Stand on one leg. Put the sole of your other foot on the inside of your straight leg but not on your knee. Keep the knee of your straight leg slightly soft. Rest a hand on the back of a chair, a a wall as needed.

Engage your butt on the side of your straight leg to tilt your pelvis back a little and feel as you extend along the front of your hip. Engage your butt on the side of your bent knee to pull that knee out a bit more and feel as you extend your groin. Hold how you engage both sides of your butt for some seconds then release slowly. Then do it again. Then do your other side the same way then do both again.

You can increase the pose by pressing the foot of your bent leg firmly against the inside of your straight leg, but not against your knee.

Arms

Namaskarasana
Namaskarasana
dhyana mudra

Put your hands where it feels good for you. Putting my hands together in dhyana mudra resting on my pubic bone helps me to focus on aligning my pelvis and engaging my butt. You can also try anjali mudra or namaskarasana.