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MELLYBEANS0919's Photo MELLYBEANS0919 SparkPoints: (23,770)
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8/27/14 9:31 P

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Fantastic tips. Tree is my favorite pose. I can have it on my calf at this point and finally this past week held it there for 5 (shaky hehe) breaths.


"Don't let perfection be the enemy of good enough!"


COFFEEONMYMIND's Photo COFFEEONMYMIND SparkPoints: (2,000)
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8/2/14 11:28 A

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Wonderful tips on tree pose! I too have been having trouble keeping my foot up against my thigh. I tried the suggestions and realized that I had not been exerting opposing forces between my foot and thigh. When I did use pressure, I found the pose to be almost (!) easy.

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Know your limitations.... and then defy them.


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PUNCHILOUIE's Photo PUNCHILOUIE SparkPoints: (120,217)
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8/2/14 11:08 A

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AMARILYNH great that you are back to your Yoga practice, and I agree with you, good comments and tips shared by fellow yoginis help to inspire us and guide us to improve the way we do the pose! emoticon

What makes a person who they are, are the choices they make. Albus Dumbledore

Our choices define us. E. Kant

If you keep believing in yourself and seek enthusiasm inside your soul, things will get simpler, more spontaneous. P. Coelho

Knowledge is like the wind, once you obtain it, you can go anywhere. Yellow Hare(Native-American Chief)


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AMARILYNH's Photo AMARILYNH SparkPoints: (176,925)
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7/29/14 1:21 P

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Great info here - thanks for the suggestions!! I just started back to Yoga on Saturday after not doing it for 25 years - so I'm definitely a 'work in progress'!

Marilyn in LaGrange, GA (EST)


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HOBBSCLASS's Photo HOBBSCLASS SparkPoints: (1,278)
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7/19/13 4:25 P

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Thanks a lot, Ladyredcomet! It always helps me to hear stories that remind me that everyone's a beginner at some point.

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LADYREDCOMET SparkPoints: (39,670)
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7/19/13 3:04 P

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When I first started, I HATED tree pose. I was very flexible, but getting my foot to actually stay on my upper thigh seemed like an exercise in futility. I was always wobbling, or toppling over, or sighing in exasperation as my foot slipped off my thigh for the dozenth time. Eventually I found that it helped a lot to do it wearing shorts (and no socks) - at least for me skin-on-skin seemed to really help minimize the chance of the raised foot slipping. I also, as others have said, had to learn to really engage the supporting leg, and figure out how to use my core muscles to keep from toppling over.

Tree pose looked so easy, but it probably took me longer to learn than any other pose (except inversions and arm balances, which I still cannot do) and that was very frustrating. But now that I have more or less figured it out, it's slowly become one of my favorites. It's a great pose for focusing and grounding.

There are some great tips in this thread; I'm sure if you keep those in mind and make sure to have a little patience with yourself, you'll "get" tree pose!

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HOBBSCLASS's Photo HOBBSCLASS SparkPoints: (1,278)
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7/16/13 12:41 A

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Wow! I can't believe all the wonderful and helpful posts this has gotten. Thank you guys so much! I can't wait to try all these suggestions. I think it is just going to take a little bit of practice for me. Already it is a little bit easier getting my leg up. I need to remember to be patient...

I'm wearing yoga pants when I try it, which seem really slippery - my foot slips off immediately.

Edited by: HOBBSCLASS at: 7/16/2013 (00:47)
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PETALIA's Photo PETALIA SparkPoints: (83,858)
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7/15/13 9:04 P

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It sounds like getting the foot to the inner thigh way up high on the opposite leg is no problem for you. Keeping it there is another thing. I root down hard on my standing leg. It is very active. I press my foot hard into my thigh and, bone to bone, I press my femur hard into my foot. I'm realizing that when there's a push in one direction, there seems to always be a push in the opposite direction with most all yoga asanas. Same with Tree. The foot pushes in the thigh, hard and to the bone. At the same time the thigh pushes hard on the foot. It looks static but it is a dynamic pose. There is a lot going on under the surface. The standing leg, I think about having my weight distributed equally on all four corners of the foot. I often lift the toes up on both feet so they are not touching the floor or my thigh to emphasize this. Are you wearing trousers or shorts? It's hard to get purchase, sweaty skin to sweaty skin. Try longer pants, it'll help loads. Tuck the tail under, shoulders back and to the mid-line, steady gaze, anchor the gaze like your life depends on it. The most important tip for me has been the thought of pressing not muscle to muscle but bone to bone - of the foot to thigh and the thigh to the foot. I visualize that and try to go for that. Give it lots of practice and some time.

TINIERTINA's Photo TINIERTINA Posts: 5,004
7/15/13 7:11 P

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Sometimes, those kinds of classes work ... here in New York City, I've had the pleasure of taking yoga from frustrated musicians, singers and dancers ... currently I'm taking yoga (from time to time) from a former opera singer (the cute, young, slender exotic type--not the old fashion full-bodied stereotype) when the style works for you personally, the music actually enhances the practice ... be it known that it is a mild vinyasa style, a not-particularly self-mortifying style ('cause you know I don't play dat) ...

some of the tracks she plays, I have at home ... it's almost deja vu ... but, I don't collect many tracks --- can't be involved in a collection--it is more coincidentally similar musical tastes ...


Lesser artists borrow, great artists steal.

- Igor Stravinsky

Find a way.

--Diana Nyad

(Said after swimming from Cuba to Key West without fins or shark cages)

My blog is at tiniertina.wordpress.com/ (topics vary; words are the most important things)

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YOGAANDBIKE's Photo YOGAANDBIKE SparkPoints: (33,749)
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7/15/13 6:53 P

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Yoga done to loud music?
Help me!

You have exactly one life in which to do everything you'll ever do. Act Accordingly.
Colin Wright


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TINIERTINA's Photo TINIERTINA Posts: 5,004
7/15/13 6:46 P

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Well, OMG, I'd had negative strength in my core area at that time, if you could imagine, lol .... the yoga teacher had not addressed the necessity for at least trying to use the core pulling-in ... it had been a vinyasa krama style of yoga with little to no core emphasis, and not hatha/Iyengar type ... hippie style yoga done to loud music - you KNOW they're not going to talk about core in a class like that ... emoticon

The other method, being self-innovated in my own comprehensive home practice sequence, for the most part (though I would take it on the road from time to time, to class; and the mostly power yoga teachers - or power yoga didnkowtheywere - teachers encouraged/lived with/put up with it .... lol

AAAND, I'd stolen that method from some yoga teacher on Facebook ... lol

Edited by: TINIERTINA at: 7/15/2013 (18:51)

Lesser artists borrow, great artists steal.

- Igor Stravinsky

Find a way.

--Diana Nyad

(Said after swimming from Cuba to Key West without fins or shark cages)

My blog is at tiniertina.wordpress.com/ (topics vary; words are the most important things)

Now 103 pounds less than at age 24w/o surgery!
YOGAANDBIKE's Photo YOGAANDBIKE SparkPoints: (33,749)
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7/15/13 6:37 P

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I really use my core. Should I have said, "Engage your core and tighten your left thigh to push your right knee into the wall"?
Thanks.

You have exactly one life in which to do everything you'll ever do. Act Accordingly.
Colin Wright


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TINIERTINA's Photo TINIERTINA Posts: 5,004
7/15/13 6:21 P

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When I'd gotten a "second studio opinion" at one point, I'd learned that method that you describe, too, YOGAANDBIKE ... but what I am proposing is taking it in stages with a wall closer by at the side that you may keel towards once your raised foot gets off the floor, which is a more organic, core-strength-oriented, vinyasa-oriented method ... Both methods using the wall work to get you to that next level in different and complementary ways .. ... but yours is the more alignment-oriented, where you start at the very fullest expression that you could safely shape into, though not using the core to hold you in-and-up yet ...


Lesser artists borrow, great artists steal.

- Igor Stravinsky

Find a way.

--Diana Nyad

(Said after swimming from Cuba to Key West without fins or shark cages)

My blog is at tiniertina.wordpress.com/ (topics vary; words are the most important things)

Now 103 pounds less than at age 24w/o surgery!
YOGAANDBIKE's Photo YOGAANDBIKE SparkPoints: (33,749)
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7/15/13 6:11 P

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The wonderful tree pose can be successfully accomplished with the foot to the ankle with the toes on the floor, or with the foot arch-to-calf.
Here's a help step to the next level:
Stand with your right side to a wall, about thigh's distance from wall. Bend your right knee and press your right foot into your left inner thigh, and tighten your left inner thigh to push the knee into the wall. Really push it. Many find incredible strength this way and eventually move to practice tree without the wall.

My teacher Caran says that if I cannot practice the asana as I dream, I can practice contentment.

How wonderful it is to practice yoga.


You have exactly one life in which to do everything you'll ever do. Act Accordingly.
Colin Wright


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YOGAANDBIKE's Photo YOGAANDBIKE SparkPoints: (33,749)
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7/15/13 6:10 P

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The wonderful tree pose can be successfully accomplished with the foot to the ankle with the toes on the floor, or with the foot arch-to-calf.
Here's a help step to the next level:
Stand with your right side to a wall, about thigh's distance from wall. Bend your right knee and press your right foot into your left inner thigh, and tighten your left inner thigh to push the knee into the wall. Really push it. Many find incredible strength this way and eventually move to practice tree without the wall.

My teacher Caran says that if I cannot practice the asana as I dream, I can practice contentment.

How wonderful it is to practice yoga.


You have exactly one life in which to do everything you'll ever do. Act Accordingly.
Colin Wright


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TINIERTINA's Photo TINIERTINA Posts: 5,004
7/15/13 6:01 P

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If need be, be right near a wall. Any yoga teacher says you can't use the wall to help you balance; well, you probably can't use that yoga teacher for very long ...

Trust me, it has nothing to do with weight. I had been very close to my weight goal and I'd demanded a wall. Without a wall, my middle toesies from time to time, must use the floor ...

All of 'em (I mean these mostly young and uninformed yoga teachers) get used to me ...

If given enough time to get into the pose, one side of me has foot to mid-thigh.

But it had taken me years of regular yoga practice to get even to that point ...

God made only my body a little unbalanced ... not my mind!


Lesser artists borrow, great artists steal.

- Igor Stravinsky

Find a way.

--Diana Nyad

(Said after swimming from Cuba to Key West without fins or shark cages)

My blog is at tiniertina.wordpress.com/ (topics vary; words are the most important things)

Now 103 pounds less than at age 24w/o surgery!
DOLLYHOLLY's Photo DOLLYHOLLY Posts: 1,434
7/15/13 4:29 P

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Thanks CarolJean. When I used to practice in yoga studios (now I practice at home), I was instructed that it's ok to let the foot drop from thigh to around knee or calf or even to the floor if one was unable to keep it steady up on the leg. I recall the instructors saying not to press hard on the knee joint but you can use one hand to hold up the foot wherever it rests against the leg.

But thanks for the info. Now we can all be more mindful of that :)

~DollyHolly


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FASTIAJESSICA's Photo FASTIAJESSICA Posts: 7
7/15/13 2:51 P

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In order to keep your foot up on your calf or thigh, you need to do a few things:

--Engage the standing leg. Lift your kneecaps to engage your thighs.
--The lifted foot should be pushing into your standing leg, but your standing leg should be doing equal work!

By having this pressing sensation, your foot is less likely to fall off your leg. You will also be getting a more intense pose this way, because you are engaging more muscles.

Good luck!
-Jessica, 200 RYT Yoga Instructor

"Never Give Up" - ALS Motto


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CAROLJEAN64's Photo CAROLJEAN64 Posts: 11,543
7/15/13 2:19 P

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Holly, no foot to knees. In my training, it was especially stressed that the knee is a fragile joint and that putting the foot against it in tree pose could compromise it. The foot should be on the calf or the the thigh. Holding the leg up with one arm is a good suggestion.

Lost 65 lbs and maintained since 2006.


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DOLLYHOLLY's Photo DOLLYHOLLY Posts: 1,434
7/15/13 2:05 P

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I LOVE yoga! The tree pose is one of the best poses for calming the mind and helping you gain focus throughout every area in your life.

First of all, don't jam yourself into a pose. Yoga is not about pain or getting a "perfect" pose. Like my favorite yoga instructor, Bryan Kest, says "Yoga is NOT about getting somewhere. It's about being the best where you're at" and the most important thing is "Your breath", "maintaining calmness, serenity."

If you can't get your foot in the insides of your thigh, you can simply get your foot to your knee and hold it there. You can use one hand to guide your foot to the knee/thigh. If your foot falls, then you can continue to hold it with your one hand. The more you do the pose, the more you'll gain stability and strength and flexibility.

Just do what you can. Remember it's about calmness and your breath. emoticon emoticon

Edited by: DOLLYHOLLY at: 7/15/2013 (14:06)
~DollyHolly


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CAROLJEAN64's Photo CAROLJEAN64 Posts: 11,543
7/15/13 1:23 P

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OK, first yoga is not a competitive exercise.... even with yourself. Do those easy versions and you will be able to build up to the "full expression" of the pose. That's what I love about yoga. It respects that our bodies are different from each other and different day to day. Take it easy and you will get there.

Lost 65 lbs and maintained since 2006.


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HOBBSCLASS's Photo HOBBSCLASS SparkPoints: (1,278)
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7/15/13 1:11 P

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I just started yoga and I absolutely love it. I've always been flexible so a lot of the things that are hard for most people at the beginning are not too much of a challenge for me. However, I've been having some weird problems - besides being overweight, which seems to cause a lot of stress on my wrists and ankles. But namely, how are you supposed to get your foot up to your thigh in tree pose???

I don't have a problem balancing or stretching - I can reach down and pull my leg up - but as soon as I let go it falls down. Are you supposed to be tucking it into your thigh and pressing hard to keep it in place, or just holding it up there through strength? Either way I can't do it. Do you think this has to do with having big thighs, weak leg muscles, or what? Thanks!

(I know there are easier versions of this posture but since I haven't had to use an easier version before I feel kind of silly with this one.)

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