In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, giving ourselves time to take a step back and create gratitude helps to shift our perspective to what’s most important – being together with the ones we love, finding abundance in what we have (not what we wish we had) and giving back. Today, we’re revisiting Tree Pose. This is hands down one of my favorite poses, for its simplicity and its power. It’s the kind of pose you can do while you’re brushing your teeth, standing in front of your desk, perching on top of a mountain, standing barefoot on the beach, or adorned in stretchy pants in yoga class. Tree pose is grounding, it cultivates focus, it’s challenging, and it’s uplifting. Take a couple minutes in Tree Pose every day and notice how your mood and body feel before and after. A subtle yet steady transformation will begin to unfold.
Tree Pose or Vrksasana (vrik-SHAHS-anna)
- Stand with both feet rooted into the ground. Ideally you want to be barefoot and on something natural (i.e. grass, dirt, sand, wood). But, if you’re in your shoes on carpet, that’s okay, too.
- With both feet planted, wiggle your toes to bring your weight toward the ball mounds and heels of your feet.
- Tuck your tail bone down.
- Firm your thighs, lifting your knee caps up.
- Draw your belly toward your spine, to activate your core engagement.
- Relax your shoulders away from your ears.
- With one foot rooted, begin to bend the other knee and bring your knee out to the side (externally rotating your hip), until your knee is completely lateral and your abductors (outer hip muscles) are engaged.
- Using your hand, gently grab the ankle of your bent knee and begin to bring your foot above your knee joint where you will place it on your inner thigh.
- Press your inner thigh into your foot as you press your foot back into your inner thigh.
- Bring your hands to your heart or “grow your branches”, bringing your fingertips toward the sky.
- Shift your gaze forward and find a drishti (a still focal point).
- Hold and breathe for 5-10 rounds of breath.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Place your lifted foot below your knee joint instead of above. This is especially good for those of us with tight hips.
- Strengthens core
- Elongates spine.
- Tones standing leg muscles – predominantly glutes and quads – and lifted leg muscles – predominantly abductors (lateral hip muscles).
- Increases mental focus and clarity. When your balance is challenged and your attention is drawn to your breath and your drishti (one point of focus), you’re able to quiet your busy mind and redirect your awareness to your inhale and exhale.
- If and when you lose your balance and fall out of tree, come right back in without pause or judgment.
- When you come into tree pose, you activate your root chakra (also known as Muladhara). This is the first of 7 main chakras in the energetic body, located at the base of your spine. The color of this chakra is red. This chakra represents our most basic need for home, stability, safety, and connectedness.
- When the connection between your physical body, your energetic body and your breath become your focus, this allows you to create a healthy distance between your higher self and your thoughts. You become more present and more centered.
Gumsaba Fitness Class schedule Monday 12/19/16
5:30AM Sunrise Danville Womens only class – Coach Briana – HIIT Monday
5:30AM Sunrise Danville Mens only class – Coach Joel – HIIT Monday
5:45AM Sunrise Walnut Creek Heather Farms Co-ED class – Coach James – HIIT Monday
6AM Sunup Moraga Womens only Class – Coach Michelle – TRX Partner Endurance
8:15AM Sunshine Moraga Womens only Class – Coach Michelle – TRX Partner Endurance
9AM Sunshine Walnut Creek Womens only class – Coach Briana – HIIT Monday
11:00AM Cytosport All Levels Cardio Kickboxing – Coach Michelle (private class)
11:30AM Cytosport All Levels Trigger Point Rolling – Coach Michelle (private class)
12:00PM Cytosport All Levels Boot Camp – Coach James (private class)
2PM Cytosport Hatha Yoga – Coach Michelle D. (private class)