Start on your back or against a wall for extra support in these Tree Pose variations.
If you have trouble balancing
TRY practicing with the support of a wall. Start in Tadasana with your right side about half an arm’s length from the wall. Raise the right arm and place the right hand on the wall for support. Shift your weight into the right leg, and on an inhalation bend the left leg, bringing the foot to the inner thigh. Keep the right leg firm and both hips facing forward. Lengthen both sides of the waist equally. Take 5–10 deep breaths before practicing on the other side.
If you can’t keep a straight spine…
TRY Reclined Bent-Leg Tree.
Lie on your back with your legs out in front of you and together. Bring your left knee up to your chest. Place your right hand on your right hip to prevent you from rolling to the left. Exhale and open the left leg to the side, foot on the inner right thigh, bent knee moving toward the floor (you may need to place a block under the right knee if it is not supported by the floor). Take 5–10 breaths, then switch sides.
See alsoStraighten Out Your Slouch
If lifting the leg to the opposite thigh is difficult …
TRY keeping your toes on the floor. Start in Tadasana with feet together. Ground down. Externally rotate your left leg, bend the knee, and place the ball of the left foot on the floor, with the heel resting on the right inner shin. Bring your hands into Anjali Mudra at the chest, taking 5 deep breaths. This pose also gently introduces how much you need to use your core muscles (especially the obliques) in order to balance with one leg open to the side. Switch sides.