Vrikshasana (tree pose) is one of my favorite poses. I find it super empowering, calming and focusing. When in Tree pose the physical sensations in your feet, your inner ear and your sight help the body orientate its self. Did you know that by struggling to stay upright in a balancing pose we help train our body to better balance ourselves?
Proprioception is our awareness and understanding of our body’s position and movement and its key to us as we age. For instance when I had a big growth spurt as a teenager it seemed like my proprioception went all out of wack. I bumped into things and tipped over constantly and became a notorious clutz. For years I remained that way and it wasn’t until I discovered yoga at 23 that I regained my balance and awareness of my body.
Working on balance poses actually helps build your proprioception. There’s a great article on Gaia.com about proprioception if you’d like to read further into it.
My tips for working on your balance poses? Props, props, props! Keep yourself close to a wall or a chair when starting out. Just knowing you have a something to reach out to when you wobble helps. Lean against a wall or place your hand on the back of a chair. Use blocks or a chair to lean on when balancing in kneeling positions. Be patient with yourself, building your balance takes time. Every time you wobble and catch yourself you train your brain and your senses to keep it from happening in the future.1