Tree Pose

This standing balance strengthens both the thighs, calves, ankles and spine. It stretches the chest and shoulders, as well as the inner legs and groin muscles. It is reputed to cure sciatica and prevent flattening of the feet. It provides gives clarity of mind since one must really focus to remain in balance. No wonder it is my husband Ian Hatter’s favourite pose. There are many variations. Arms can be folded in front of the chest, with hands in prayer position (Anjali Mudra), with the gaze downward just over the fingertips, or straight ahead or upward. Arms can be raised skyward, with the palms facing one another or pressed together, with the gaze straight ahead or up, the crown of the head reaching skyward. Arms can be in Eagle Position or Cow-Faced Position, or Chest Opener Position. The raised foot can be beside the ankle, calf, or inner thigh. For additional challenge, make this into a bit of a backbend; or bring movement to the body, swaying side to side, waving the arms, etc. The most challenging version involves doing this pose with eyes closed.