My mother long ago explained when I was younger, growing up in Philadelpia, that many of the streets were named after trees. Locust, Walnut, Chestnut are a few tree names that spring to mind which I can quickly identify with as locations in the city of my birth. From a root chakra standpoint this awareness is a critical connection to my finding balance in Vriksasana. A pose that is polar opposite to the previous post about Triangle, Tree pose is a never ending sense of pure play.
If balance is off, work the connection of the hip opening on the side with the lifted leg and simply work a basic "kick stand" rooting the ball of the foot into the ground and connecting the heel into the inner side of the supporting leg. This provides more than enough opportunity to work strength on the one side and opening on the opposite.
Ready to challenge balance? Begin to lift the foot off the ground and place it mid-calf, once the foot lifts off the earth we loose the kinetic chain and work to strengthen our core. The dependence on the standing ankle then becomes really obvious and you may feel the body sway as it comes to terms with finding a sense of balance.
Working the foot higher into the the upper thigh or even across the opposite hip deepens the opening and as the mind itself is trying to balance "I need to strength, I need to balance" and then take it to a new direction "I need to be, just be, I need to accept, it is all good!".
This pose is also a great place to self examine differences between the right and left, your front and back, the top and the bottom, but I'll leave that for you explore. It is YOUR journey.
If you find that balance is something you struggle with, or if you know of someone who would possibly benefit by learning more about private sessions in The Growing Room, please contact me now by following the link below:
Please Note: If this or any yoga pose caused direct pain, numbness or just does not feel right to you, please stop. Your yoga practice should never hurt, seek advice from a qualified instructor or a medical practitioner.