Tree Pose: How-to, Tips, Benefits

In our beginner yoga pose series, Michael Taylor from Strala Yoga in New York City, demonstrates and gives us the scoop on Tree Pose.

How-to: While standing, shift your weight onto one foot, then lift your other heel up to your inner thigh. Reach arms straight up, or press your palms together at your chest or behind your upper spine.

Tips: Balance by keeping an active standing leg, and stacking your skeleton vertical from heel to knee to hip rather than relying on your foot muscles. If you want to open your upper chest, press the edges of your hands in prayer position to your chest and breath strongly into your hands. If you want to open your upper back, press the edges of your hands firmly along your upper spine and lift with your breath.

Benefits: Balance and focus.

Michael Taylor is a yoga guide at Strala Yoga in New York City. (Michael prefers "guide" to "instructor"). He's practiced Eastern movement and healing techniques for more than two decades. He holds a degree in mind-body medicine from Harvard, and studied alternative medicine and psychology at Oxford. Mike is also the CEO of social media company Odyl, climbs a few mountains in his spare time, and is the husband of yoga master Tara Stiles.

Michael Taylor

Co-Founder Of Strala Yoga & Tai Chi Expert
Mike Taylor is the co-founder of Strala along with his wife, Tara Stiles. He studied mind-body medicine at Harvard and complementary medicine at Oxford. Mike has practiced Eastern movement and healing, including tai chi and qigong, for more than 30 years. In his younger years, Mike challenged centuries of reasonable and well-tested martial traditions in hundreds of competitions by applying unruly imagination to a world where rules were unbreakable. His record established the strength of finding your own way in your own body rather than copying the techniques of other people’s traditions. As he got older, Mike continued on to medical applications of the mind-body connection in university. After running into walls with standard medical practice in the United States and England, he left his health care roots for a little while. As the first internet boom was getting started, he joined the startup team of one company, then founded a couple more. Now through Strala, Mike has found his way back to health care done right: helping people let go of stress in their bodies and minds, enable their lives, and become their own best caregivers.Mike has climbed some of the world’s largest mountains in Alaska, the Alps, and the Himalayas. He’s now a cyclist and runner and spends as much free time as possible exploring the backcountry on foot, skis, and snowboard. He lives in New York with his wife, Tara, and baby, Daisy.
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Michael Taylor

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