Tree Pose: Paying Homage to Hilton Head’s Lowcountry Landscape

Sabal Palmetto

Live Oak, Sabal Palmetto, and Long Leaf Pine. Red Cedar, Wax Myrtle and Bald Cypress. Whether draped in Spanish Moss, haloed by an osprey nest or spotted white with egrets, Hilton Head’s trees frame the Island’s natural beauty and are the infrastructure to the Lowcountry’s charm.

It is for this reason the Island’s trees make us smile. The appreciation we have for them generates a form of nature-inspired wellness.

Whenever I practice yoga outside—whether it is the Sea Pines Forest Preserve, Pinckney Island, or one of the Island’s pristine beaches—I feel compelled to honor our native trees and do Vrksasana (vrik-SHAHS-anna), or the Sanskrit word for Tree Pose.


Jean Rioux at South Beach in Tree Pose

Tree Pose on south Beach

How to do Tree Pose:

  • Standing at the front of your yoga mat, shift your weight into your left leg and lift your right leg up.
  • Place the sole of your right foot on the inside of your left ankle, calf or inner thigh. (Right toes should be pointing down towards the floor.)
  • Keep the left leg strong by flexing the left foot and activate the left ankle, hamstring and quad.
  • Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor and lift your heart up toward the sky.
  • Bring the hands together in prayer position in front of your heart.
  • Breathe 5 inhales and exhales of equal length.
  • Repeat on right side.


  • Strengthens thighs, calves, ankles, and spine
  • Stretches the inner thighs, chest and shoulders
  • Improves sense of balance
  • Relieves sciatica and reduces flat feet


Note: You can also practice Tree Pose at one of the Island’s many fitness facilities. Our yoga studios and health clubs—like Jiva Yoga Center, Yogi Veda, or Beach City Fitness—welcome visitors and most offer guest passes and rates.

Be well!-Becca