Thursdays in class I choose to focus on the lower body, which can include everything from the low back to the hips, lower abs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, and down to the feet. Tree pose can be challenging for balance in and of itself, but by laying it with the pushup challenge, we create leg strengthener, on top of the upper body focus of the pushup.
Of course, this being adaptive yoga, tree pose can be done with both feet on the ground (no need to elevate the "branch" leg). Imagine the strength and balance required to accomplish a full chaturanga with the legs in tree pose in a horizontal position! My body wouldn't take to that style of pose, so this variation, which I found to be quite challenging in and of itself, to be exciting to try.
Surprisingly, it wasn't my arms, or even my lifted leg, that fatigued, but my standing calf. Bearing that in mind, a lesser incline might allow you to keep the standing foot more on the ground than on the balls of the feet. As always, this is a practice, and experimenting and being present with how your body responds helps progress it.
Eleven Tree Pose Push-ups on one leg, then a stretch, and eleven on the other. Enjoy.
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