Back in the day, before ClassPass I had a New York Sports Clubs membership. There would always be one or two classes I just couldn’t fit in to my schedule but really wanted to try. One of them was a Hatha Yoga class. Taught on a Monday morning, I thought it would be such a nice way to ease in to the week. One day, I want to say it was a Columbus Day, I was able to go. I was so happy! So I get to class and it’s me and some older ladies which is totally cool. My mom is 80 years old and will full on kick my as so I don’t judge. But class starts and I can’t help but wonder how none of these old biddies hasn’t dropped dead because we are moving at the speed of molasses. We get to Tree Pose (see, there is a point to all this) and they all have their feet below their knees while I have mine above. Again, you do you old ladies! But then, suddenly the teacher changes the tenor of her voice and is all “SOME people are trying to show off and SOME people should be more respectful.” Strange direction we’re going with this instruction. That’s when I look over at her (rather than at myself in the mirror) and realize she is staring daggers at me. Ah well, first time/last time.
Tree Pose is great because it is accessible and challenging. It offers benefits to beginners and seasoned practitioners alike. And I love how it is empowering but can also knock you down a peg. My sweet little girl does tree pose with her foot below her knee and hands at heart center. I always have my foot above my knee and am working on getting my hands above my head – either separate if I’m not on my game or together in namaskar if I am feeling like a rockstar. Bikram tree pose is different than Vinyasa and for me, more challenging. It is all the more important for me to be focused on a fixed point in this variation. Here you want to hold your foot up high in front of the opposite thigh with the sole of the foot facing the ceiling. Sometimes my foot stays up and I can bring my hands to heart center. Sometimes, not so much.
Tree Pose stretches your inner thighs and shoulders. Naturally it helps with balance but in turn that helps with mindfullness. It strengthens your thighs, calves, core and little feet. And improves your posture – stand tall powerful tree.