A lot can be learned from a good tree. Vrksasana helps to improve balance and the ability to center and focus, which can be very helpful for running as it helps prevent injury and improve overall performance.
There are many ways to approach tree, from resting the bottom of your foot on the opposite ankle while using the wall for stability to placing the bottom of your foot on your opposite inner thigh with arms outstretched and eyes closed.
Moving gradually through the variations of this pose provides an opportunity to explore limitations and capabilities. At any point, if you feel challenged then tune in to identify what is happening in your body that may need special attention.
What I love best about this pose is that it quiets the mind and encourages inward gazing to pinpoint where there may be imbalances or weaknesses that need to be addressed. Runners can learn a lot from these slow quiet practices of drawing inward and strengthening the mind’s ability to identify what is happening in the body.
Don’t under-estimate the power of this pose to prepare you for miles on your feet, the subtle shifts require attention and care.
Tree can also be fun with friends, simply touch the tips of your fingers together in a circle while in the pose. The subtle shifts can represent a strengthening connection and build trust and a stronger bond. Also, experiment with swaying tree by moving your arms gently overhead for an added challenge.
Since there is no such thing as mastering tree pose, you can keep this asana in your repertoire of movements and come back to it again and again, each time experiencing slightly different sensations in the body.