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10 top tips to tree

posted on Monday, 21st May 2012 | find under Fitness

We’ve enlisted our wonderful Sweaty Betty in house yoga instructor, Julie Montagu (Co-Founder of www.inourish.co.uk)  to give us a step-by-step guide to some of our favourite yoga poses so we can get perfecting in between practice.

This week sees the turn of Vrikshasana or tree pose. Julie says, ‘this is a fantastic pose that creates balance while toning the legs. It’s not as easy as it looks, but over time it builds tremendous inner and outer strength and a great feeling of accomplishment as you learn to balance on one leg’.

Mats at the ready…
  1. Standing in Mountain Pose, place your feet parallel and hip width apart
  2. Extend your spine tall and fix your gaze forward at a focal point contracting your core muscles as you shift your weight to your right foot
  3. As you inhale, raise your left foot and place the sole of your left foot on your ankle, calf, mid-thigh, or upper thigh with your toes pointing down
  4. Keep your gaze at one point as you breathe
  5. Feel that your left knee is comfortably pointing out to the side
  6. The centre of your pelvis should not drop to the left causing the entire pelvis to shift right
  7. Gently press your left foot into the right inner leg. Visualize keeping your hip points and shoulders level with the ground by engaging your right outer hip muscles and pressing lightly into the right big toe mound
  8. Feel an energetic connection rising from the medial (inner) arch of the right foot upwards to your inner groin line. Keep a light contraction in your core muscles to keep the abdomen from falling forward
  9. Place palms in the prayer at the heart. Continue to press your right foot lightly into the ground as the crown of the head lifts. Stay here for several breaths
  10. As you exit, exhale and softly place your left foot on the floor into Mountain Pose. Pause to shake the right foot and repeat on the other side
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