Disclaimers: Consult a doctor before beginning an exercise regime. Never force a pose. Stop if you feel pain or intense discomfort. Yoga is meant to be yummy.
I love vinyasa yoga and I am obsessed with good alignment. This obsession doesn’t stem from a need for perfection, which would be very “un-yoga-like” of me, but from a passion for protecting the body from injury. Most bodies can safely practice yoga on a daily basis, but maintaining sound alignment is essential to your physical wellbeing. In this series, I will break down some common poses—explaining how to stay safe and fully enjoy each posture. Finally, remember to BREATHE consistently while practicing yoga to receive the full benefits of the practice … otherwise, you’re just stretching in Sanskrit. Today’s pose is Tree Pose, or Vrksasana.
- Stand in tadasana at the top of your mat.
- Bend the right leg, and place the foot at the left ankle, calf, or upper thigh. Never rest the foot directly on the knee.
- Raise your arms towards the sky. Shoulders roll up and down the spin, away from the ears. Shoulder blades come together at the midline.
- Arms slightly externally rotate, meaning that palms begin to face towards the back of the mat.
- Hip points should face out equally in front of you, and your bent knee should extend towards the right.
- Release any unnecessary tension in your neck and face.
- For a challenge, try balancing while closing your eyes, and/or gently swaying your arms like a tree in the wind.
- After you are done, try the pose on the other side to even out the body.
Practicing yoga on your own can be a ton of fun, but taking a class is a great way to explore new poses under the tutelage of a trained yoga instructor; check out MINT’s yoga offerings, here.
Ashley Binetti received her 200-hour vinyasa yoga teacher training at Saraswatis’s Yoga Joint in Norwalk, CT in 2011. Her favorite pose is Triangle. When she’s not doing yoga, Ashley works as a nonprofit attorney. She is also a MINT Ambassador.