Tree Pose (Vrkasana)
1. In the "Before" photo, my foot is placed on my knee! This can cause knee injury and permanent damage! In tree pose, your lifted foot should either be placed below your knee on your calf or above your knee on your inner thigh (as shown in the "After" photo), but the knee is off limits! Think "No knee tree!"
2. My hips are uneven and they aren't squared forward! When we practice tree pose so many things are going on with our body! Fixing your core and hips is a great place to focus to help with your balance. Make sure you're standing with a neutral spine and squeeze your hips into the center of your body. Don't sink into the standing leg for support with your foot - lift up and engage your core. You can even place your hands on your hips to feel if they are even!
3. To help stabilize myself I'm tensing my face, shoulders and chest - this is so uncomfortable and can cause so much discomfort! In tree pose, your upper body should be effortless. Keep your neck muscles soft and elongate the sides of your neck. Relax your face and jaw and let your shoulders fall back and lift your chest up! Your whole upper body should feel light like a tree!
PROP MODIFICATION: WALL
Want more? If you're feeling balanced and in strong form, touch your palms towards each other and lift your branches (arms) strongly up to the sky!