Beginner and Advanced Exercise of the Day - Tree Pose
Tree Pose is a balance pose from yoga. Balance poses are because they are as much about our minds as our bodies. In order to stay standing, we need to quiet our thoughts. As you stand in tree, try to let any thoughts that come up simply be released when you exhale. In other words, find them interesting and then let them go so they don't distract you. Also, try to keep your eyes focused on something that is not moving. It will help!
Ready to give it a try? You have 3 levels to choose from on this one!
1. Stand with your feet directly under your hips.You can do this barefoot or in sneakers. Draw your core in and imagine that you're rooting your feet down into the ground, like a tree:)
2. Lift just your toes off the ground. You should feel your quadriceps engage causing your kneecaps to lift up toward your hips. Lower your toes back on the ground but keep those quads engaged.
3. Keeping your leg muscles engaged and your squeezing your hips together, place your right foot against your left leg. Depending on your level, you have 3 options:
- Place your foot next to your ankle with the toe touching the ground for balance.
- Place your foot against your calf (Bottom Picture)
- Place your foot against your thigh. Be sure not to place your foot against your knee though. Our knees do not like this option. (Pictured above)
4. Press the leg against your foot and your foot against your leg. Notice how this stabilizes you. Try not to let your left hip "pop" out to the side. Keep your left hip in line with your ankle.
5. When you feel stable, raise your arms to the sky like a tree that is growing and blooming.
6. Stay here for as long as you'd like.
7. Repeat on the other side. Follow-up with a forward bend when you're done.
Be sure that your shoulders are drawing down your back and are not popping up through this exercise. Keep your core engaged. You should not feel this in your back. If you do, simply start at the beginning and reset.