8 Steps to Master and Refine Tree Pose

Yoga teacher Claire Missingham shares her instructions to achieve this foundational pose. Plus, reap the benefits and avoid these mistakes.
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Yoga teacher Claire Missingham shares her instructions to achieve this foundational pose. Plus, reap the benefits and avoid these mistakes.
Claire Missingham in Tree Pose

Next in YOGAPEDIAModify Vrksasana to find safe alignment for your body >

Benefit
Establishes strength and balance in the legs, and helps you feel centered, steady, and grounded

Instruction
1. Stand with your feet together, inner ankles and inner knees touching. Find a straight line of energy through the center of the body, from the inner arches up through the crown of the head. Bring the hands together at the center of the chest in Anjali Mudra. Exhale, root down through your feet, and feel steadiness, firmness, and grounding in Tadasana, or Mountain Pose.

2. Shift your weight onto your right foot. Bend your left knee, and move it into the chest. Keeping a long spine, reach down and clasp your left ankle. Place the sole of the left foot on the inner right thigh.

3. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor to stand tall and bring your drishti, or gaze, to the wall directly in front of you to help you balance.

4. Press your left foot into the inner right thigh and your right thigh into your foot in an effort to maintain your midline.

5. Square both hips to the front of the room, keeping your left knee moving out to the left.

6. Firm your outer right thigh by contracting the quadriceps muscles, or the front of the thighs. Zip your belly in and your lower ribs together. Lift the chest and bring the shoulder blades down.

7. Take 5–10 deep breaths, finding length on each inhale and rooting down with each exhale.

8. Exhale and release the left leg back to Tadasana. Repeat on the other side.

Avoid These Mistakes

DON’T turn out the foot on the standing, supporting leg. This will misalign the supporting knee and hip.

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DON’T place your foot on the opposite knee. Keep it above or below the knee, on the inner thigh or side of the shin, to protect the knee of the standing leg.

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See also3 Ways to Safely Modify Tree Pose