Vrksasana (pronounced vrik-SHAHS-ana) is a balance pose. The term “vrks” means tree. When you balance on one foot, it helps orients you to patience, compassion, stability, intelligence and awareness of the present moment. This is a difficult pose to do when experiencing mental stress and strain, or when one side of the body is weaker than the other, which is most often the case.

Helping your body achieve equilibrium in this pose also helps bring equilibrium to your life. It begins by establishing a firm foundation and maintaining a steady eye on a point in front of you. Being in the present is like being in eternity because a feeling will come to you that “I can do this pose indefinitely.” Yet, life is ever changing, as are the many adjustments necessary to maintain the pose.

How To Practice

Begin vrksasana (balance pose) in tadasana (mountain pose), standing tall and erect, weight evenly balanced and feet together. Begin with your hands in the prayer position. Now lift one leg, placing the bottom of the foot against the inner thigh of your other leg. Remember to look straight ahead with a steady eye on a single point. Maintain vrksasana for as long as possible, doing so equally for both sides of the body.

Alternatively, you can bring the arms straight over the head, keeping the hands in prayer position. Breathing, which is always important in yoga, will be more difficult in this version of vrksasana.

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