You may have heard Yogis hail Tadasana, mountain pose as a “neutral”, “beginners”, “foundation” or “blueprint pose”. Feasibly Tadasana is all these, yet so much more. Tadasana, instils a sense of grounding, being centred and balanced. Tadasana helps improve our posture, strengthening our legs, reducing flat feet, toning our abdomen and buttocks, whilst keeping our spine straight to enable us to breathe more deeply. It is the beauty and the simplicity of Tadasana that peaks in sophistication.
Once the mantra has been chanted, the intention set, rhythmic breathing observed, warm-up completed, I love nothing more than beginning asana practice in Tadasana. As I acknowledge this moment standing tall, I surrender poised. I affirm to follow the guidance of my teacher, the flow of my breath, the beating of my heart and the meditation of my mind. It sets the nature for all that follows. Returning to Tadasana during practice feels like coming home. I sense the movement and shifts within, taking a moment to honour them. For these reasons, it is with passion and good intention that I invite you Yogi, to honour your Tadasana throughout your practice.
- Stand elevated with your toes together and heels slightly apart or hip distance apart. Either way, your second toes should be in alignment
- Engage your Yogi feet, raise your toes, increasing the natural height of your foot’s arch. If possible place your big toe on the floor. Distribute your weight evenly on your heels, balls, inner and outer edges of your feet
- Tighten and pull your knee caps up, contract your hips and pull up the muscles at the front and back of your thighs
- Squeeze your gluts and roll your pelvis down, towards your navel
- Pull your stomach in, open and expand your chest lifting your heart
- Elongate your spine and neck, keeping your chin parallel to the floor
- Activate your Drishti, focused gaze on a fixed object straight ahead or close your eyes to challenge your balance
- Roll your shoulders up, back and down, pulling your armpits towards your torso
- Engage your fingers, hands, wrists and arms, bring them to life. Your middle finger should face the earth, in line with your ear. Now turn your palms out in front of you
- Rest your tongue of the roof of your month to help relax your facial muscles
- Take deep inhalations and exhalations through your noise
- Be still, be centered, be grounded
Throughout the world, mountains surround us, standing the test of time, ruling the land, piercing through clouds and reaching towards the sky. To be present amongst nature’s giants can invoke feelings of adversity, devotion and resolution. To emulate the metaphoric representation in asana practice can be majestically sublime.
“We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us.”
― John Muir