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Tadasana: Mountain Pose

 

Tadasana: Mountain Pose


While the Tadasana (tah-DAHS-anna), or Mountain pose, appears to be one of the most basic yoga poses, it is far more profound than it seems. Learning how to truly stand in Mountain pose, with awareness from the top of the head to the bottom of the feet, brings benefits in practicing nearly every other yoga pose — especially standing poses. Understanding the ins and outs of Tadasana gives the knowledge needed to move confidently and safely into your practice for years to come. Regularly practicing Mountain pose regularly is also great for posture.

Philosophy + Origin

Mountain pose can look like a “non-pose” to some, but there really much to discover. In an age where we move quickly from one thing to the next, learning how to be strong, steady, and unwavering like a mountain is beneficial for our mental, physical, and spiritual health. As you stand in Mountain pose, notice the subtleties of the posture. What can be discovered by being still? The more you practice Tadasana, the more you’ll experience its meditative qualities, each breath inviting another step up the proverbial mountain until you quietly take in the incredible vista from the top.

ADJUSTMENTS/MODIFICATIONS:

  • Stand with your heels, sacrum and shoulder blades against a wall as a guide. As you learn proper alignment, you’ll find that your lower back and the back of your head won’t touch the wall.
  • If balance is difficult, spread your feet wider while ensuring that your second and middle toes point forward.

CONTRAINDICATIONS AND CAUTIONS:

  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Low blood pressure

TIPS:

Despite its apparent simplicity, there’s more to Mountain pose than meets the eye. To learn to engage the leg muscles correctly, practice with a block between the thighs. Use your inner thigh muscles to squeeze the block, slightly engaging the quadriceps. Focus on bringing the block back slightly by internally rotating the inner thighs. This action is fundamental to many standing poses — learning it in a relatively simple pose like Tadasana is helpful.

STEP-BY-STEP:

  1. Begin by standing at the top of your mat, bringing your big toes together. Your heels will separate slightly as you line up your second toes parallel to each other. Lift and spread your toes wide, then gently place them back down. Focus your attention on the four corners of the feet – the base of the big toe, the base of the pinky toe, the inner heel and the outer heel. Achieve even weight distribution in each of the four corners as you steady your balance.
  2. Engage the thigh muscles by gently lifting the knee caps while internally rotating the upper thighs. Draw your attention up through the sole of the foot all the way out and beyond the crown of the head. Find a neutral pelvis by drawing your tailbone down as you lift your pubic bone toward your belly.
  3. Widen your shoulder blades as you simultaneously draw them down. Stay mindful of your front ribs, ensuring they don’t expand out and forward. Lift your sternum to allow more space between your collarbones. Let your arms rest at your sides with palms facing forward.
  4. Feel the crown of your head align with the center of your pelvis; align your chin so that it’s parallel to the mat. Keep the tongue away from the roof of your mouth and the throat soft as you enjoy several breaths.

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PREPARATORY POSES:

  • Adho Mukha Svanasana
  • Utkatasana
  • Uttanasana

FOLLOW-UP POSES:

  • Utthita Trikonasana
  • Virabhadrasana I, II, III
  • Vrksasana

SANSKRIT:

  • Tada = mountain
  • Asana = pose

PHYSICAL BENEFITS:

  • Improves posture
  • Strengthens thighs, ankles, feet
  • Tones the muscles of the abdomen
  • Reduces flat feet
  • Relieves sciatica discomfort

ENERGETIC BENEFITS:

  • Calms your mind
  • Relaxes your central nervous system

MANTRA:

“Om Bija Mantra”

One of the most common mantra bijas chanted in yoga, OM tunes us into the eternal vibration within and around us, and throughout the universe. Chant three to five times at varying pitches to connect with the more subtle aspects of your energy.

MUDRA: Anjali Mudra

This mudra is also known as the “prayer mudra.” Bring both hands together by firmly and evenly pressing the palms together with the fingers and the thumb pointing upward. Practicing this mudra can relieve anxiety, helping you to be strong and steady where you are.

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