Tree Pose


This picture was taken by Robin Adams Photography back 2006, right before I opened up my yoga studio. I used this picture in some marketing collateral.  Seems like another lifetime ago!  Otherwise known as life BP (before Penelope).

I love tree pose so stinkin’ much.  It is one of those poses, where when you look at it, it looks so easy.  So you saunter your leg up, like it aint no big deal, and you can’t do it.  You can’t even have your foot on your foot and balance.  It humbles you.  It forces you to take a big look at yourself and forces you be honest with yourself in the present moment.

At the same time, for some people, it is one of those poses you can fake.  Sure, you may be able to get your leg up and make a triangle with your bent leg, and balance.  But how is your form?  Are both your butt cheeks pulled in?  Especially, the cheek of your standing leg.  Is your knee cap of your standing leg, pulled up and your thigh engaged?  Is the weight of your entire body, spread perfectly and evenly across the bottom of your standing foot?  Is your bent knee at a 90 degree angle with your pelvis? Or is it pointed slightly forward?  Are both your hips facing forward?  Is your belly button pulled up into your spine?  Are your shoulders down away from your ears?  Are you staring at your drishti (a focus point on the wall, at eye level, to help you balance) and thinking of nothing but your breath?

It is a complicated pose, no doubt about it.  But the beauty of practicing and mastering, balancing yoga poses, is that whatever you accomplish in class can directly correlate to mastering balance in your own life.  Learning to live in a perfect state of balance, in regards to all things, in something I strive for and truth be told, one of the biggest lessons I learned when I had my studio, was how to keep my life in balance.  Tree pose is one of the things that helps me along.

Once you can do some sort of balance in tree pose, you will start to notice that one side may easier to balance on and that it changes by the day, by the hour and by the minute.  You will also notice, that moment you come out of the present and start thinking about your to do list, you will fall.  

For babies and toddlers, tree pose is a different experience.  It is one of pure joy and elation as they learn about their bodies and what they can do with them.  Tree pose, is one of my favorites to teach, because once a toddler can master this on their own, the look on their face when they do it for the first time, is priceless.   The picture below is of Ava Grace, age 18 months.  And me when I used to look young, pretty and full of life.  Now, I look like someone ran me over with a truck, ah, motherhood.

For toddlers, you show them how to do tree pose first.  But you show them the easiest way  you can.  With your foot by your ankle, or on top of your foot.  Later you can show them the full version of it, if you want.  But this is a really hard pose for them, so make it attainable at first.  Usually, it takes well past the 2nd birthday before kids can balance on one foot, so don’t despair if it takes them awhile.   You can hold onto them,  or show them how to hold onto the wall.

For babies, you move their legs for them, like the picture (which by the way is more Robin Adams, and this is Ella Shea, age 6 months).  They can be seated or standing.  For babies, you are simply getting them to experience the movement, which helps them set the brain pathways for later and they will pick it up faster when they are older.
So there you have it.  Tree Pose.  Let me know if you have any questions.  Did these pictures spark your interest in more yoga studio pictures by chance? When I was looking for these on the computer, I found more pictures Robin took of the studio, it really was a beautiful place.  Anyone interested in going down memory lane with me?

And tell me your Tree Pose story!


About the Author

Hiya! I'm Stephanie. Mama and Baby Love is all about helping mothers on their own personal health and healing journey and enjoying life along the way. You can learn more about me and what I'm all about. Sign up for my newsletter for more tips, info and inspiration!

Comments

  1. jessica kiehn says:

    I have always wanted to get into yoga but just don't really understand it. Everytime I've tried to watch a DVD or video of it it seems like it takes 400 years to TALK about yoga and then the moves are soooo slow I can't really enjoy it! I'll have to draw out of you the reasons you like it. I stretch ALL the time and am a runner. Maybe I'm just more of a fast exerciser than slow?

  2. I love to do tree pose with my preschool class because they get that same look of joy on their faces when they achieve balance. It's a beautiful thing!

  3. Martha Kutter says:

    I love your explanation of this pose and the pictures of you doing it. It reminds me so much of brazilian jiu jitsu and the ethos my instructor brought to the practice. I am fascinated by the layer upon layer of technique and the thoughtful process that goes into each movement and pose in yoga. It may seem juxtaposed, but the same introspective mindfulness goes into brazilian submission martial arts. You execute a sweep of an opponent only when you know his exact footing and balance and pivot and listen and feel his breathing rhythm and really sink with his movement. It takes all of that to really do it correctly and artfully. Sure you could muscle through it, but generally you fall in a position of weakness (strategically). But when you do it, really do it right, it's the most graceful thing you'v ever seem. You think there is no way the human body could do something so graceful. I may copy this and send it to him if that's okay. He will think it's just beautiful.

  4. Love our long hair! And tree pose is one of my favs, too. Now I’m wondering if I am doing it right!

  5. Natalie P says:

    Yes, I really want to try yoga! A friend told me about hot yoga so I thought I would check that out. Thoughts on hot vs. not?

    • I love hot yoga, but it can be really draining, so if you are trying to heal from pregnancy or post partum, gentle restorative is your best bet. Ideally, I would love to go to one hot yoga class a week and one restorative class a week. Usually I can only get to one and just alternate.

      • Natalie P says:

        Thanks! If twice a week yoga, any suggestions on another type of workout that compliments yoga? Have you ever done pilates? {Website looking fantastic, BTW. So fresh!}

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  1. [...] Stephanie 9 Comments So the other week, when I was putting together last week’s post about Tree Pose, I came across some old pictures of my yoga studio.  It made me want to share with you all, [...]

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