Nikki Fogden-Moore demonstrates her favourite yoga poses.

Tree Pose/ Vrksasana - Women's Health & Fitness

Benefits: Mindfulness, centering, rebalancing, high and leg strength, opening

Works: Legs, hips, pelvis, torso, mind

How To: This is one yoga pose that should be practised according to your own level – not necessarily what you see others doing. We show the beginner pose that really works your inner thigh muscles and helps compression in the lower abdominal region as well.

Start with your feet together and toes in line. Transfer your weight to your right leg and pull the kneecap up, tightening your quads, gluteus and entire leg  – keeping it as straight and as centred as possible. Suck your belly in, shoulders back but relaxed and eyes forward.

With your right hand, reach down and grab your foot from underneath – use your left hand to help bring your knee and left leg up near your right hip in a kind of triangle position.  

Bring your left hand into your chest, bringing your shoulders back and hips square to the front.

If your foot can stay locked in this position near your pelvis then you can release your right hand and bring this up to the left palm centred in your chest. If not,  keep holding your foot with your right hand and the left hand up is across your chest and centred.

Hold this pose, all the time focusing on your belly, your spine being long, your standing leg strong, your hips in line and shoulders back.

Avoid rolling the shoulders forward by pulling the shoulder blades together. Breathe gently and with purpose. Calibrate here. Soften your face; your eyes and your thoughts should be about breath and balancing this with your body and mind.

When ready, gently release the left foot to come to the ground and move your hips and legs to release the pose. Then close your standing postures with Namaste – hands in front of you, palms together.

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By Nikki Fogden-Moore

Photo credit: Keith Hamlyn

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