A lot of people have been asking, “Why do you do tree pose everywhere?” I’d like to think of tree pose or vrksasana, as my signature power pose. I have a million pictures of me doing it just about anywhere. To give you the “why”, I need to take you back to the beginning.
I started doing yoga while recovering from a broken leg. As a swimmer, the first place I was after the cast came off was the pool. I slowly built my leg muscles back up, but everything was still tight, so a colleege recommended I try her yoga class. Forward through time and our sons went off to college and I was an empty nest mom in a very quiet house. Not one to sit still, I decided to really focus on improving my yoga practice. As a challenge to myself, I set a goal. You guessed it, tree pose.
But not just tree pose, I wanted to be able to do it with my leg all the way up, hands together above my head or arms spread wide in joy. I worked on this pose until I achieved it. It’s not as easy as it looks, really. Try it…
How to do my Signature Power Pose
Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
- Stand up straight, legs slightly apart. Bend one knee, shifting all your weight to the other leg.
- Turn your bent knee outward until it is perpendicular to your body.
- Now slowly slide the foot of your bent knee up your opposite leg, only as high up as you can while maintaining your balance.
- Once you've reached the highest point you can, slowly bring your palms together in front of your heart in prayer position. Keep them here or slowly raise them up above your head. If you are still feeling stable, open your wide with joy!
- Breathe and hold for a few breaths.
- To release, slowly lower your arms down, then lower your leg to the floor. Repeat on the other side.
- When you are ready, take it to the next level. Bring that leg all the way up, for me this requires assistance.
Then one day, on an adventure I asked someone to take a shot of me doing tree pose. Turned away from the camera. And it stuck.
What Power Pose Calls to YOU?
I’ve come to think of tree pose as the pose I do to celebrate. Overcoming a new challenge. Going someplace I’ve never been before. Or simply my way of capturing a feeling of accomplishment, joy, or even serenity. It’s such a powerful pose for me.
Do you have a Power Pose? Something you do to show yourself, your friends and the world that you are proud of yourself? It doesn’t have to be a yoga pose, it doesn’t have to be complicated. We should all have some way that we signal the world around us, and ourselves that we feel AMAZING! The more you share your joy and show the world that it is ok to be proud of yourself the more permission you give others the freedom to feel proud, happy, joyous about themselves as well.
Tree pose was my first power pose, but over time I’ve added more poses. Now the pose can be any pose I am feeling to my core or that I want to use to challenge myself. Tree pose became reverse warrior pose. Reverse warrior pose became crow pose. Crow pose became a headstand. Your power pose can be anything you do to share that powerful feeling.
We always do it at the end of every retreat. As a group, we gather together at the spot we’ve chosen and one-by-one each of us has up to three photos taken of us doing a pose that makes us feel amazing. Maybe it was a challenge pose that we were finally able to ‘stick’, maybe it is pose that brings us peace, maybe it’s that one pose that surprises everyone when you do it, maybe it’s a photo of you standing there and smiling, fully and complete, because you’ve found a loving, supportive, inspiring community that loves your unique, beautiful soul.
Power Pose Challenge!
Here is my challenge to you…..take a picture of your power pose today and post it on social media! Tag me, so that I can celebrate YOU! @peppyfitfoodie and use the hashtag #powerpose. Do it for YOU!