No matter what your age or fitness level, “movement is medicine,” says integrated fitness expert Amanda Jane Avis ’96 of Santa Monica fitness studio Mala Motion. The former Bruin Dance Team member will help us all live healthier lives in this new Happenings department.

Tree PoseFinding balance is the biggest challenge in this pose, which means despite your level, Tree Pose (Vrksasana) may be a tough one. But the benefits include strengthening the abdominal wall, increasing proprioception (knowing where your body is in space) and improving balance. You may practice Tree Pose in front of a chair or near a wall if you are a beginner.

1. Standing tall at the top of your yoga mat, bend the right knee to bring the sole of your right foot to the left inner thigh.
2. Press the sole of the right foot into the left inner thigh to create a solid connection. Feel the center line of your body from the top of your head to the toes of your left foot.
3. Place your hands on your hips, palms together in front of your heart, or lifted skyward. The further you reach the arms, the more difficult. You may add a lift in the focus, or Drishti, to make this pose more advanced.
4. Hold Tree Pose for 10 full breaths and change sides.

Read the full post on the UCLA Magazine website here.
Photo by Hugh Hamilton

Categories: Yoga

Amanda Jane Avis

Amanda Jane Avis began her exploration of movement as a child. Her very early dance training sparked an intense curiosity of anatomy and physiology, which led her to study the amazing human body after receiving her B.A. in dance from UCLA in 1996. She invites people of all disciplines and levels of athleticism to explore Pilates, Gyrotonic, Gyrokinesis, Yoga, Raising the Barre, and dance. Amanda Jane is currently seeing clients online and in person.

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