This post is an instalment in a series that delves into the basics of yoga—looking at its postures (asana), breath (pranayama), philosophy, and all the other essentials—giving you the foundations upon which to build a solid practice. Today’s focus will be on Tadasana, or Mountain Pose.
Foundation Friday: Tadasana
Pose, or Asana Tadasana, or “Mountain Pose”
Tada - Mountain, Asana - Pose tah-dah-sah-nah
This month we're sharing our favourite grounding poses and, as the name suggests, Mountain Pose creates stable roots from which to rise. Depending on the style of yoga you are practicing, you may also hear this pose referred to as Samasthitiḥ. Essentially, this is your center. Tadasana creates a feeling of union in your body; a sense of connection to the earth and the sky. Just as the majestic mountains boast height and width to secure their stature to the planet, tadasana is your foundation to feel grounded.
Although tadasana is a basic pose, it is the blueprint for many other poses (you could almost say all!). You can find this anatomical position of the body in many other poses and relate how that center stability is present in other asanas. It is an important pose to allow your body to receive and integrate the information and benefits from your practice. Tadasana allows you to recalibrate and prepare for the next posture; stability and grounding are the foundations of this pose.
Benefits of Tadasana...
- corrects posture
- strengthens feet, ankles, knees and thighs
- steadies the breath
- increases awareness
- tightens the core
- relieves sciatica
- helps flat foot
- helps to strengthen and lengthen the spine
- increases energy
- beings harmony to the mind and body
How Do I Get There?
1. Start standing with your feet hip distance or wider - make sure this is a comfortable, stable stance.
2. Check in for foot/ankle alignment - the base of the second toe lines up with the center of your ankle. You may choose to sway gently here, finding the balance in the souls of your feet to ground down with.
3. Engage pada bandha, drawing energy up the inner line of your leg to stabilize your knees and charge your thighs all the way up to your pelvic floor, finding a subtle connection to your core.
4. Supinate (rotate outwards) your arms to create "anatomical position". Allow your thumbs to open up outward, rolling your arms open and creating space in your collarbones and shoulders as your scapulae gently draw onto your back. Watch that your ribs don't jut forward here - use core stability to keep the spine growing tall right through your crown.
5. Relax your shoulders and draw attention to your back body - feel the base of your skull stack over the back of your heart and sacrum. This back body awareness allows you to feel genuinely stacked and supported: rooted from your feet, all the way into your lower back, shoulders, and head.
6. Balance the crown of your head directly over the center of your pelvis, with the underside of your chin parallel to the floor, throat soft. Soften your eyes.
7. Tadasana is generally the starting point of all standing postures, although it is an important posture in itself. Stay in the pose for at least 30 seconds to a minute, scanning the alignment through your entire body and focusing on your breath.
We hope this helps you better understand this essential posture, tadasana. Please feel free to comment on our Facebook with any further questions. And let us know if you have something you would like to see featured in Foundation Friday!