Standing Up for Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
The trick of standing upright here is the trick of using both feet. ~ Glen Colquhoun “The art of walking upright”
Newcomers and sometimes people not so new to yoga are often bemused as to why yoga teachers give so much attention to what on the surface appears such a simple pose. Tadasana; Mountain Pose; it’s just about standing up straight, right?
It’s simple, it’s boring, it’s easy, the eyes of the yogis glaze over as the teacher cues Tadasana with its many alignment and refining cues. So what is the story with Tadasana?
Every Pose Is a Variation of Tadasana
The work in Tadasana is bringing your skeleton with its unique attributes into neutral alignment. Tadasana is the starting place from which many other poses begin from. Once you know and feel Tadasana in your body, all other poses become simply one or more intentional shifts in specific joints or body parts away from Tadasana, while the other areas of the body maintain its neutrality. This is why Tadasana is described as the “blueprint pose”.
With any class, part of the teacher’s job is to get students to pay attention to the now, to be present and in the moment. Tadasana is the perfect pose to teach each moment’s worthiness. As a yoga practitioner it is an opportunity to experience what may appear as a mundane and simple pose, in a new way each time. Everything is always changing and no matter how many times you’ve done it before, you’ll miss THIS time if you’re not present.
How to do Tadasana
- Stand with your feet together, arms beside your body, palms facing forward.
- Lift your toes, spread them wide and bring them back to the mat. Ground down through your feet, and as you draw the energy up, gently lift your knees
- Press you upper inner thighs back while lengthening your tailbone down
- Lift your torso up and away from your pelvis as you broaden your collar bones
- Lift up from the base of the spine, gently bring your head back until your ears are in line with your shoulders
- Take 5-8 slow breaths
As a yoga teacher, no matter how well I think I have cued Tadasana, at the next class a different teacher will cue Tadasana in a completely different but equally valid way. So as a student you ask; what is the right way to do it?
Well here is the thing, there is no perfect looking Tadasana, only a perfect feeling of Tadasana, unique to you, here and now. Mountains are solid, a force of nature, yet their surface is fluid and evolving. As you stand in Tadasana your feet are grounded in the earth, the crown of your head reaches towards the sky, your breath integrates all the cells of your body, and everything is in alignment: You are a mountain. TADASANA
Article written by Yoga Teacher,Tony Kennedy.