Home  >  Magazine  >  Issue 25 : Nov/Dec 2008  > Columns  >  Outdoor Yoga  >  Balance Like a Tree


Outdoor Yoga

By Shinji Ohmori

Balance Like a Tree


Winter is fast approaching.  Skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and icy roads are coming soon. That means it is time to work on our balance and ankle strength. For this issue, let’s work on some variations of the tree pose. There are many types of trees in Japan, so there are many “tree masters” from which you can learn a pose. Find a tree, some inspiration, and practice close by.

During each of the following poses, the most important thing is to focus on “finding your center.”  Find a level space and start with Pose #1 (remember it is not how high you stretch or how hard you pull, it’s how well you can stay balanced in the pose.  Use your inner muscles to make the subtle moves necessary to remain upright. 

Follow the five steps below to find your balance in each of the three variations. Take an “out breath” and “in breath” with each variation, then repeat on the other leg.

1)    First lean forward over your toes and find your balance.
2)    Now shift your weight to your heel and find your balance there.
3)    Find the line of balance between your small toe and your heel.
4)    Now find your balance between your big toe and your heel.
5)    Finally, combine all four points on the bottom of your feet to find your true balance.