Benefits of Upward Tree Pose or “Urdhva Vrikshasana”

“Stand erects on the left leg, bend the right leg and place the right foot on the root of right thigh. Maintain the pose like as a tree on the ground. This is called vriksha-asana,” [8] as Gheranda-samhita II so eloquently put it, describing the “more difficult” version of our Upward Tree Pose. It’s one thing to do breathing exercises and a stretching yoga pose like the Crescent, to help you relax and limber up. But eventually, if you are serious about developing a general level of tone and fitness, you’ll need to move on to yoga postures that start to stretch you. Work up bit by bit to the more difficult poses. And the Palm Tree may be your next step. This yoga pose has a long list of benefits [6].  While these poses, such as the tree pose, are considered and experienced as being more difficult to do, findings from the National Center of Biotechnology Information [3suggest that “common, long-held conceptions about pose modifications can be counter-intuitive. There was no difference between the intermediate and advanced Tree variations regarding hip and knee JMOFs in both the sagittal and frontal planes,” indicating that these more difficult poses don’t actually cause more strain on our bodies.

[5] Many times when people think of yoga, Tree Pose (Vrksasana in Sanskrit) is one of the first poses that pops into their heads.

There are two slightly different versions of this pose, one with your arms loose and flowing, and the other with them stretched and taut. You may start with the easier one and work toward the harder, or do the harder one first and then relax with the less strenuous form. One of the [4] surprising benefits is not only leg and ankle and hip, but groin strengthening. If you want to push just a bit, begin by doing the Palm Tree with your fingers locked.

Beginner Benefits of Standing Tree Pose

 

 

 

Stand straight with your feet hip distance apart. Interlock your fingers together and then stretch your arms outward and upward, turning your palms toward the ceiling. Lift onto your toes, stretching the palms upward and stretching every part of your body. Hold for a few seconds, and come back down and lower your arms slowly. Repeat this process three or four times. And after you’re proficient, you add a step or two forward, which will help you develop grace and balance. For those with less balance skills, [2] the tree pose can be modified in several different ways. 

For the more relaxed version, stand as before, but lift your arms separately above your head, relaxing the shoulders. Wave your arms back and forth together, like a swaying palm tree. Keep the rest of your body straight, with only your shoulders and arms relaxing and moving.

Doing the more rigid version of the Palm Tree will help your posture and even assist your digestive system. The more flowing version will release tension in your upper body. Doing sets of both versions will do all of these things and infuse you with a great sense of well-being.

Standing Tree Pose (Urdhva Vrikshasana) Long Term Intentions & Benefits

Yoga positions can be very complex. If you are a beginner, this should not intimidate you because there are poses that will help you strengthen your body and make you more flexible before moving to the complex poses. Here we will be discussing a few beginning yoga poses commonly taught to students new to the art and fascinating world of yoga.

Trees offer a beautifully symbolic model. “Back in 2012, [7] forest ecologist Suzanne Simard of the University of British Columbia discovered that trees and plants communicate and share resources with one another via an underground web of fungi, helping one another thrive to the best of their ability.[1]” 

Malasana- Also called the garland pose, Malasana is best done if your purpose is to strengthen the hips and the groin. The Garland pose is no more than squatting. However, there are key positions that need to be done right to ensure maximized benefit for this position.

To do this, let the soles of the feet lie flatly on the floor. Bring your buttocks slowly down but do not let them touch the floor. It is like sitting on an imaginary stool. The legs and knees should be wide apart and the toes should be pointing in a diagonal angle. This means that your toes should not be pointing straight or sideways. The upper arms should be under the knees and the palms of the hands put together as if in prayer. The forehead should be straight and not pointing upward. Relax the entire body, particularly the spine, and breathe in and out.

Tadasana- The second of the most commonly used beginning yoga for health poses is also called the Mountain Pose. This is a standing pose used to transition from seating poses to complex poses. What this does is to improve the body’s posture, relieve back pain, and strengthen the feet and thighs.

To do this, stand up straight with the big toes touching each other. The toes should be parallel, not pointing at each other. Let all the toes fan out and lift them. After fanning the toes out, drop them on the floor. Create a space between the feet if necessary so your ankles do not bump each other or else you will be out of balance. Imagine yourself as a tree. The feet should be rooted firmly on the floor.

Draw your belly inward while inhaling and draw the shoulders back. Although this position may seem silly because you are just standing, the key here is aligning the body parts together, which is really hard work because we rarely do this under normal circumstances.

Urdhva Hastasana

The last of the beginning yoga poses we will teach you is the Raised Hands Pose. This is a good transition from the previous pose which will help you strengthen your shoulders.

From the previous position, bring your hands up and raise your hands high, as if reaching for something. Press the palms together and keep the arms straight; your elbows should not bend. Raise your head and look at the thumbs. The shoulder blades should be relaxed down and drawn back. It is important to keep this alignment to make it work. Inhale and exhale.

In maintaining a healthy lifestyle, these yoga poses are important. If you do not master these poses, you will have difficulty shifting to other complex poses. Also think of these poses as your resting poses. If you advance to the intermediate level of yoga, you can always go back to these poses to rest for a few minutes then resume. The more difficult levels of yoga can also have a more profound affect on weight loss and maintenance. 

Aaron Matthew Ang is a seasoned web content writer with seven years of experience. He writes in all niches and practically all topics under the sun. To date, he has written more than 1000 combined articles and eBooks for various niches.

References & Sources

[1] What I Learned From Falling Out of Tree Pose https://yogainternational.com/article/view/what-i-learned-from-falling-out-of-tree-pose

[2] Ways to Safely Modify Tree Pose https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/3-ways-safely-modify-tree-pose#gid=ci020756a130302620&pid=yogapedia-dec-14-tree-pose-vrksasana-variation

[3] National Center of Biotechnology Information “The Physical Demands of the Tree (Vriksasana) and One-Leg Balance (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana) Poses Performed by Seniors: A Biomechanical Examination”, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3437689

[4] The Tree Pose – Yoga With Dr. Weil https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/balanced-living/exercise-fitness/tree-pose/

[5] How to Do Tree Pose (Vrksasana) – Instructions & Benefits – The Fitness Tribe https://www.thefitnesstribe.com/yoga-poses/tree-pose/

[6] Vrikshasana (Tree Pose Yoga) Steps, Health Benefits and Precautions https://www.gyanunlimited.com/health/vrikshasana-tree-pose-yoga-steps-health-benefits-and-precautions/10917/

[7] Trees Communicate | Ecology Global Network http://www.ecology.com/2012/10/08/trees-communicate/

Tree Pose – Vrksasana – Yoga With Adrienne on Youtube