Tree Pose is another classic pose that has two options for your feet. It distributes your weight across your feet and helps improve your balance. By transferring your weight throughout the pose, your balance is improved over time. This weight transfer also stretches micro-muscles in the foot and shin. If you experience pain in your shins this can be just the pose you need to alleviate tension in the lower legs and feet.
- Begin in mountain pose. Slowly shift your weight onto your left foot, bend your right knee, and clasp your right ankle with your right hand. Bring your right foot up to rest against your inner thigh. While in tree pose, keep your pelvis centered and parallel to the floor with your back straight. Bring your hands together in front of you as if you were praying. Lift your arms above your head and breathe deeply to complete the pose. Hold for 10-20 seconds and release. Repeat with your other leg.
- If you are unable to bend your leg that high and remain balanced, try resting your foot against your inner calf. You’ll gain the ability to go into full tree pose with practice. If you are unable to maintain balance, you could also hold onto a doorframe or sturdy table for support. Be sure to keep your back straight and your pelvis parallel to the floor. You can also do this pose while lying flat on the floor to help you keep your spine straight. Use a pillow or cushion for your bent knee if you experience discomfort.
- To make this pose a bit more challenging, try a tree pose variation with a block. Stand on a block with your toes hanging off slightly to provide grip and balance. Performing the tree pose while standing on the block allows you to improve balance even further while stretching your feet and legs.