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How to Do the Tree Pose in Yoga

Updated: Mar 28, 2023

The Tree Pose in yoga is often the first standing balance posture to practice for beginners. By focusing on finding your balance on one leg you work on improving your concentration and stability on one leg. There’s also an emphasis on hip flexibility.

There are different Tree Pose variations that you can practice that progressively build up in difficulty of balance and flexibility.

In this blog we’ll explore how to do Tree Pose via a step-by-step sequence to help you learn and develop the standing balances and different variations of the Tree Pose.

Practice along with my Tree Pose yoga sequence.

How to Do the Tree Pose (Sequence for Beginners)

Below you can find details of a sequence for beginners focused on how to do (and improve) the Tree Pose.

Hip Mobility Warm Up

hip joint warm up

Before practicing the Tree Pose it can be helpful to gently warm up the body and open the hips with a hip mobility warm up.

Come to lie down on your back. Inhale as you bring your right knee into your chest and exhale as you circle your knee out to the right side and stretch your right leg out in front of you. Repeat for 5 – 10 rounds and then repeat on the opposite side.

Seated Tree Pose Variation

tree pose variations

Since one of the things that makes the Tree Pose challenging is the balance element, it can be helpful to practice the positioning of the legs while sitting.

Come to sit with both legs out in front. Bend your right knee and open your right knee out to the side. Inhale as you reach your arms up and over head, pausing here for five breaths.

Keep focusing on activating your left leg and lengthening up through your upper body. Repeat on the opposite side.

Warrior 2 Pose

warrior 2 pose yoga

The Warrior 2 Pose will help with the actions of opening one hip, engaging your legs and lengthening through your upper body.

Step your right foot forward and left leg back. You want your right foot to be facing forward and left foot in (about 90 degrees to your right foot). Bend your right knee as you ground your left foot and press your left foot back.

Arms reach wide out to the side as you reach up tall through your spine and upper body. Stay here around 5 breaths and then switch to the opposite side.

Mountain Pose

mountain pose description

The Mountain Pose is a great foundational standing posture that will help you find your balance in the Tree Pose. Come to standing with your feet hip-distance apart or a bit closer together. See if you can stand up tall with your head and shoulder stacking above your hips.

Close your eyes and focus in towards your feet. From here see how it feel to lean your weight a little bit forward to your toes and then a bit back towards your heels.

After doing this a few times see if you can find a place in the middle and stay here a few slow and steady breaths. You want to remember this position for the Tree Pose.

Tree Pose Option 1

tree pose yoga

Start in your Mountain Pose with your toes spreading out wide and grounding towards your mat. Shift your weight into your left leg and start to lift your right heel up.

From here place your right heel on top of your left foot and draw your right knee out to the right. Hands can come to the hips, together in front of your heart or overhead.

Keep using your inhale to grow tall through your legs and upper body. And the exhale to ground through your standing leg.

After around five breaths switch to the opposite side.

Tree Pose Option 2

tree pose in yoga

If the first option felt stable you could try sliding your right foot to the inside of your left leg. So that the sole of your right foot is pressing into your left lower leg (not on the knee joint).

Again see if you can actively draw your right knee out to the right side that you open your right hip. But at the same time keeping your hips parallel (vs. rotating both hips to the right when you open your right knee).

Again stay here for around five breaths and then repeat on the left leg.

Tree Pose Option 3

tree position in yoga

In the final option of the Tree Pose you use the help of your hand to place your right foot on the inner thigh of your left leg (above your left knee).

You want to actively press your right foot into your left thigh and at the same time draw your left leg towards your right foot. Like options 1 and 2 you can draw your right knee back and lengthen through your upper body.

Staying here again for around five breaths and repeating on the opposite leg.

Tree Pose Variations

You’ll notice that the three variations of the standing Tree Pose get progressively more challenging in terms of balance, flexibility and stability. So if options 2 and 3 don’t feel accessible to begin with you can focus first on getting familiar and comfortable with option 1.

If balancing on one leg is challenging you can try standing with your back close to a wall. That way if you start to wobble you can lightly touch the wall with your fingertips. And then see if you can gently release your fingertips off the wall and start to balance again.

If you feel quite comfortable balancing in option 3 of the Tree Pose you could experiment making the posture more difficult by placing your standing foot on a block.

Happy practicing!

X Irene

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