It´s that time again! Back with a yoga recipe for you to play with at home or on the road, wherever you may be, let it feel good.
This week, we´re tackling tree pose. It´s a balancing and hip opening posture but it´s also a brilliant way to get into the seam of the inner thigh, which can be a tricky little number. Read on for details…
1) First things first, start to tap into your breath. It tends to be the first thing that becomes compromised, especially when a challenge is in your face. Have a wall or chair handy (just something that you might use to steady your balance). If you´re working on standing on one leg, my tip is taken from the king that is Michael Jackson and his effortless lean swag (can i say swag here? i just did…) that is, to first stand on both feet, then lean the weight into your toes…then lean the weight over to the left….then take that weight back into your heels….then over to the right….then finally, feeling the entire outline of your footprint, spread an even distribution of weight throughout. Focus your gaze on something in the room that´s not moving. And try not to grimace.
2) Pick up your right foot. Lift the knee and hug it into your chest. Press your weight through your standing foot and try to let your body lengthen upwards so you become taller.
3) If it feels secure, take your right hand to your right knee. It can help at this point to hold your left arm out to the left, or hold onto your wall or chair to steady your balance.
4) Place your right foot on the inside of your left inner thigh. You´re trying to create an effect of the thigh and the foot hugging together. By pushing the right foot gently into your left inner thigh, resist with your left inner thigh by strengthening the standing leg. Try pressing the standing foot down even more firmly. If the right foot feels like it doesn’t want to be so high up on the thigh, take it lower down to rest on your left calf, or if balance is not happening for you on this occasion, try not to worry or be annoyed, keep breathing and place your right toes on the floor and rest the heel on your left ankle.
5) Bring your palms together in front of your chest. Then slowly lift them up into the air. Try to keep the integrity of your legs, particularly your standing foot pressing into the floor. Let this “pressing downward” enable you to stand taller. Even taller. Like a tree! Separate your hands, spread your fingers and “be tree”. And remember, trees aren’t still, so if you’re swaying or wobbling, see this as a natural part of practicing how to balance. If it helps, remind yourself to set your eyes on something still, and feel the entire outline of your standing foot. Yeah! Hold for up to 10 breaths.
6) To come out, remove your right foot and turn your right knee forward, then place your foot back down, shifting the weight into your right (now standing foot). Repeat the other side!
Remember, it’s a practice! Embrace the wobbles!