Anatomy of a Pose - Laurel Marsh

Tree Pose (Vrksasana)


Laurel Marsh

Laurel Marsh

  • Strengthens legs, ankles, feet and core
  • Opens inner thighs, shoulders and chest
  • Improves balance, concentration and posture
  • Therapeutic for stress and sciatica

Key Actions

  • Begin in Tadasana, Mountain pose (see May 2017 column)
  • Set your gaze (drishti) to help with balance and concentration. Soften the eyes but have a clear focus and intention.
  • Shift weight into the left foot while maintaining an even rooting through the ball and heel of the left foot. Bend the right knee and place the sole of the right foot to the inner left thigh. Right toes point downward.
  • Press the right foot into the left thigh and press the left thigh into the right foot.
  • Maintain a level and neutral pelvis by lengthening the tailbone down while hugging the outer left hip in toward the midline. Draw the right knee out to the right to line up with the torso. Right sits bone reaches toward the left heel, without losing the hugging in of the outer left hip.
  • Bring the hands together at heart center (Anjali Mudra) and lift the center of the chest away from the naval. Keep the hands here or extend both arms overhead, palms face each other. Use the lift of the arms to grow taller.
  • Repeat other side.


  • If placing the right foot to the left inner thigh is a challenge, try placing the foot to the inner shin or ankle. Avoid placing the lifted foot on the knee joint.
  • If balance is a challenge, place a chair to the side of you or move to the wall.
  • Place one or both hands to the chair or wall to help with balance and development of key actions.