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Featured Exercise: Tree Pose


This is a pose that helps improve balance and strength in the shoulders, abdomen, thighs, calves and foot intrinsic muscles. It also calms and relaxes the mind if you incorporate diaphragmatic breathing into the pose. The goal of this exercise is to maintain diaphragmatic breathing while you maintain balance without swaying.

1. Start by standing with your feet hip width apart.

2. Think about lengthening yourself so that you feel as if the crown of your head is rising toward the ceiling.

3. Focus on a point in front of you as you breathe.

4. Start to bring one foot (we will use the left foot) into the inner side of the right leg and pressing against it. Try to maintain a level pelvis and not letting it drop to one side.

5. You want to keep your hips and shoulders level to the ground and feel for the connection from the arch of the stance foot to the inner groin.

6. Place the palms of the hands together in a prayer position in front of the heart. Keep the shoulders relaxed to prevent tensioning the neck. If you feel that you have your balance then slowly raise your hand up toward the crown of your head. Stay here for several breaths.

7. To release this pose, slowly lower your palms back toward the heart and place the left foot back to the ground.


1. If you have difficulty performing the full pose, place a finger on the wall for support or keep the toes of the foot resting on the floor as the heel rests against the ankle.

2. You can keep your arms extended outward in a T position instead of together in a prayer position.

3. Keep your hands in a prayer position but do not extend them overhead.

Precautions: patients with significant balance deficits that cannot maintain the pose without fear of falling.

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