Vrikshasana, Zhan Zhuang, the tree posture, these are the 3 well known names of this exercise which is intense and beneficial. Discover this posture that will never stop surprising you, as his work on your sense of balance and your internal profile will seem complicated to you at first, and obvious with time. When you know how to distribute your body weight perfectly, you will be able to stand for hours on the sole of your foot.
What is the position of the tree?
A posture frequently presented in a traditional context and often related to Hatha-Yoga, Sattva Yoga and Parsvottanasana, the posture of the Tree has its own special meaning and symbolism. It can be achieved according to 3 progressive degrees of difficulty, which allows everyone to practice it according to their abilities.
The peculiarity is that each of the postures is associated with a particular breath, which it is necessary to master to perfect its practice. Be careful however that the 3rd method is not more complicated than the first, it is just a matter of realizing the one that seems the most adapted to our abilities and the present moment. One then enters into a learning which, in addition to being physical, becomes of the order of discernment and self-knowledge.
What does the Vrikshasana symbolize?
Vriksasana, therefore, or the posture of the tree, is a very widespread exercise like the parsvottasana. The tree is a universal symbol, which represents the axis of the world, connecting material realities to spiritual realities.
The roots plunge into the earth and metaphorize the energy drawn from the material world. The summit represents our sensitivity and our openness to more abstract, more subtle dimensions. This attitude expresses the verticality of man, of love, which lies between heaven and earth, and which is subject to the rules of Mother Nature as the seasons.
How to realize the position of the tree?
As we explain in the first paragraph, 3 stages of implementation exist for the Vrikshasana.
- Getting Rooted
Start in Mountain Pose, Tadasana. When it’s done and your eyes are stable, put all your weight on your left leg and your big toe, and keep it tight.
While keeping your left foot flat, put the sole of your right foot on your left inner malleolus (the ball of your ankle, if you prefer). When you are in balance, try to open your lehip as wide as possible, while keeping the front pelvis.
Place your hands in Anjali Mudrâ and not in Jnana Mudrâ, as it may be tempting to do. That is, you bring your hands in the prayer position by spreading your thumbs, and letting them touch your sternum (in the middle of your bust).
Feel all your muscles, and push your hands against each other while keeping your shoulderblades low.
In terms of breathing here, the important thing is to feel that rootedness and to control that breathing. Inhale slowly and deeply, pushing back as much as possible with the support foot, exhale when your lungs are full by retracting the abdomen, lowering the shoulders and lengthening your tailbone. Stay still by performing 6 breaths, and do the same on the other leg.
Once the roots are mastered and applied, it is time to move on to the second step of the posture. Gently and delicately as when you realize the Moon Salutation come place your right foot (previously on the malleolus, remember) one floor above, that is to say at the level of the inside of the knee. As for your hands, they come above the skull, without touching it.
Always be sure to stay well-groomed, and don’t stretch upwards. To avoid this phenomenon, pull your elbows back a maximum, and keep your shoulders low.
As for the breaths, practice the same way as before, taking into account that it is quite complicated to hold it on 6 breaths. If you have trouble or it doesn’t look like much anymore, there is no problem going back to the first step.
Starting from the second degree, fold the right leg, grasp the right ankle with one hand and bring the heel all the way to the top of the left thigh, letting the knee joint open outwards.
Firmly press the sole of the foot against the thigh, which has a strong resistance to the pressure of the foot.
Raise arms vertically and join palms of hands, fingers tight and thumbs back.
Maintain control of the abdominal strap to avoid digging into the lumbar region. To feel connected between earth and heaven.
The breathing, nothing changes. In cycles of 6, do not forget to stay jacked to the maximum. A final point to pay attention to is that we all have a strong side and a weak side, which should be balanced by performing the same number of repetitions for each.
What is this posture related to?
The best combination for this kind of posture is to use it as a meditation support. Indeed, it is very beneficial to chain it directly, or even to do it at the same time, for the most experts.
Like the 3 gunas, your body is constantly seeking balance. It’s moving, and it’s important to make it more fluid. If you liked this article explaining how to achieve the 3 degrees of the pose of the tree, do not hesitate to consult the rest of our blog to learn more and stay up to date with the latest news about our common passion.