How to Do Tree Pose in Yoga (Guide to Vrksasana)

Tree Pose is one of the most popular standing poses in yoga. It’s a one-legged standing balance with an element of hip opening and shoulder mobility. The beauty of this asana is that it can be adapted to benefit practitioners of different levels, from absolute beginners to seasoned yogis.

“If I had to choose my favorite standing balance, I would pick Tree Pose without a doubt,” says Yoga Answered contributor Cat Harvey. “Even after years of practice, I gain some new insight every time I practice this asana.”

Tree Pose Quick Look

Sanskrit Name: Vrksasana
Pose Type: Balancing Yoga Poses, Standing Yoga Poses
Difficulty Level: Beginner pose
Targets: Ankles, feet, legs, hips, and shoulders
Benefits: Tree Pose is a great asana to work on your balance, whether you are an experienced yogi or a novice. Balancing on one leg builds strength in the muscles and ligaments of the foot, ankle, knee, and hip. It also prompts extension from the ground up, keeping the spine long and improving long-term posture. The hip-opening action of the bent leg stretches the groin, as well as strengthening the muscles of the outer hip and glutes
Preparatory Poses: Mountain Pose, Upward Salute, Bound Angle Pose

How to Do Tree Pose Step-By-Step

  1. Start in the standing position. Engage your core and hug the ribs in. Ground firmly through your right foot and begin to shift your weight to the right.
  2. Bend your left knee, lifting the left heel. Rotate your left knee to the side, opening the hip outwards.
  3. As you fully transfer the weight into the right foot, place your left foot along the inner side of your right leg. You can keep the foot as low as the right ankle or shin or lift it all the way to press into inner right thigh.
  4. Keep the hips and chest facing forward. Bring your palms together at the center of your chest and slowly raise your arms overhead. Reach up through the fingertips and lengthen through the spine.
  5. Focus on steady, measured breaths to help you maintain balance. Stay in Tree Pose for up to a minute and repeat on the other side.

Beginner’s Tip

A handy way to think about Tree Pose while doing it is to imagine you’re a tree. Imagine roots sprouting from your standing leg, grounding your foot firmly into the ground. Imagine your leg and torso as a mighty tree trunk, steady and unwavering. Imagine your non-support leg as a branch, reaching out away from the trunk. Imagine your arms as top branches, reaching for the sunlight. Just as every tree is unique, you can modify your Tree Pose to suit your practice. You can keep your toes on the ground to help you balance or rest your foot lower down the standing leg if your hip flexibility is limited. If you generally struggle with balance, you may choose to hold onto a wall or the back of a chair to help you settle. You may want to avoid pressing the foot into the knee of the standing leg.

Yogaanswered.com is reader-supported. Buying through links on our site may earn us an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.