|[ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 129 ]
In the Sanskrit language tala means "tree" or more specifically, "palm tree" and that is why this asana is also referred to as the "tree-pose" (or palm tree pose).
Note: There is a different position also known as the “tree pose,” called vriksha asana in Sanskrit, which is among the popular asanas practiced by many today.
Note: In the beginning, try to hold the posture with the mudra for 20 – 30 seconds, gradually increasing over time.
Begin in sama sthiti asana with your hands in front of your chest in namaskara mudra.
- Step your legs apart, with the distance between your feet slightly narrower than shoulder-width. Make sure that the inner borders of your feet are parallel and that your weight is equally distributed between both feet.
- Inhale and raise your arms in a wide arc, into a parallel position above your head, with the palms open and facing forward. Feel the whole body stretch as much as possible from the legs through the trunk and arms, keeping hands and fingers straight, but relaxed.
- Stand as fully extended as possible within this position without tension or rigidness. The shoulders should feel relaxed with the arms fully extended but not tense.
- Now apply asvini mudra by holding a continual contraction of the muscles of the anus and the entire anal zone.
- Close your eyes and breathe deeply and slowly.
- Finish the exercise by slowly lowering the arms to the sides, in the reverse manner.
- Stand relaxed with the eyes closed and take a few easy breaths.
Effects and Benefits
Through the practice of this asana the body will become light and agile. It is beneficial for sciatic nerve problems and also for those who experience poor circulation and sensitivity to cold in their limbs.
This is a great practice for those who spend long hours sitting or working in front of a computer, as it stretches and lengthens all of the long muscles of the body while also opening the spinal, shoulder and hip joints.
Therefore, much body tension can be relieved by this position, while at the same time its practice can help to re-establish proper body posture.
Tala asana is especially beneficial for women as it can be practiced even up to a few days before childbirth. In fact, out of the numerous asanas, this is one of the few that can be practiced throughout the entire pregnancy.
Its practice will help to energize and revitalize one who has become tired and fatigued during pregnancy, keeping the expectant mother healthy. It may also aid in easing childbirth.
NOTE: This yoga article is an excerpt from The Science of Yoga, an online yoga training program with streaming yoga videos and 600 pages of step-by-step yoga instruction.
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