Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude.

January Reader’s Challenge of the Month

Posted January 1st, 2012 by Linda with No Comments

Welcome to a new year and, for January’s Reader’s Challenge, a new pose!

If you’re just starting your yoga practice, try the Tree Pose. Vrksasana is an excellent posture to help with balance. It requires focus to maintain proper alignment and builds strength in the legs and ankles as well as helps to increase flexibility in the hips.

For the more experienced yogis, find a new pose to try or, you can work on a posture that you feel needs more attention. Perhaps inversions are difficult for you – try working on your handstand. A more advanced pose for balance and core strength might be Bakasana (Crane pose).

Can’t think of any poses you’d like to try? Look for some videos on YouTube, check out a book from your local library, try a new class – you’re sure to find something new and enlightening.

We’d love to hear how you’re doing with the Reader’s Challenge this month so please leave a comment to let us know how you’re doing!

Vrksasana “Tree Pose”

Posted May 2nd, 2011 by Salina with No Comments

Tree PoseThis morning I was excited to discover that our new peach tree has tiny little peaches growing on it!  The sight of fruit on this brand new little tree has inspired me to introduce the “Pose of the Month”, which will be a regular feature on the website.  I am happy to receive questions, comments, or feedback as I am creating this site to help you.

In honor of my little tree, the pose for this month is Vrksasana – Tree Pose.

Vrksasana is a balance building posture. This pose also builds strength in the legs and ankles, helps increase flexibility in the hips, and with regular practice it can help build focus and concentration.

If you have inner ear problems or a balancing disorder do Vrksasana near a wall or a chair that you can use for support or avoid doing this pose. If you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, do not extend the arms overhead in this posture.

Steps for Planting Your Tree:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Begin standing at the top of your mat with the base of your big toes touching. Root all four corners of your feet into the floor – from the base of your big toes to the base of your little toes and from your inner heels to your outer heels. Bring your arms down by your sides; relax your shoulders down while maintaining the length in your spine. Take a moment to bring your focus to your breath.

Shift your weight on to your right foot while bending the left knee and lifting the foot off the floor. Bring the soul of the left foot either to the inside of your right ankle (with the toes touching the floor), calf, or thigh with the toes pointing toward the floor. Make sure to keep the foot above or below the knee so that there is no pressure on the joint.

Bring your hands to your hips and try to square your hips to the front of your mat; which may mean pulling that left hip forward. Press the left foot into the right leg and pull the muscles of the right thigh in to resist the left foot. Then allow that left knee to start opening out to the left, keeping the hips facing forward.

Work the left hip down away from the ribcage, pull the abdominal muscles in, lengthen the spine, and bring the palms together in front of the heart. Find a place on the floor or the wall in front of you to focus on; this will help with your balance. Keep the face soft and relax the jaw.

For more of a challenge, extend the arms overhead with the palms facing each other. Open the chest, roll the shoulder blades together, and pull the shoulders down away from the ears. You can bring your gaze up toward the ceiling.

Hold this for up to a minute before switching to the other leg.

Tip: If you practice with your children, encourage them to be their favorite tree. A mighty Oak might flex those muscles; a Weeping Willow may hang his head, have fun with it!