how do you tadasana?

tadasana. samasthiti. mountain pose. standing pose. it has many names…

this post is all about standing pose. i’ll explain how i learned to do it.  how to fully be in the pose and recognize all of the little things you may not normally notice about such an everyday activity – standing.  *btw you’ll need a tennis ball or yoga block

start with your feet

 

4-corners-of-the-feet

you have four points on the bottom of your feet on which to properly balance. two in the ball and two in the heel.

  • reach the four points of your feet into the ground and lift your arches up with the inner lines of your legs – up towards your center. check in with your toes. we want happy toes here, no death grip on the floor.
    • if you have death grip toes lift all of your toes at once then one at a time, place them back down on the ground. start with your small toe, the one next to the small toe, the one next to that, then the one next to you big toe, then finally your big toe. try it again, only the other way. pick up all of your toes. place only the big toe down, then the one next to that, then the toe next to that, then the toe next to the small toe, then finally the small toe.
    • another trick to help you find your balance here is to slightly shift your weight into your heels, then shift it forward into the balls of your feet. notice the difference. then come back to your center.
  • lift the inner lines of your legs up towards your center (your torso and core). your knees should be stabile but not locked. keep a blood flow here – no passing out in yoga!
    • to help with this – move your shins slightly forward – a millimeter.
  • grab the aforementioned tennis ball or yoga block* put it between your upper thighs and hold it without clenching your butt. use your inner thigh muscles (what?! i have inner thigh muscles?!) to hold the ball or block in place. this will create a slight inner rotation in the inner thighs and an outer rotation of the outer thighs, activating the muscles and setting you up for the next steps.
  • reach your tailbone towards the ground. (sometimes you hear ‘tuck’ but for me this word implies clenched butts and we don’t want that – we want energy moving down and out of your tailbone into the ground) so reach and keep your butt happy.
    • this movement will help keep your hips in alignment. the three points of your hips to focus on are the tops of the hip bones (iliac crest) and the pubic bone. keep them in a flat plane –  reaching your tailbone down will help achieve this.

the upper body

 

  • bring your stomach and ribs in. lift your chest up. and breathe. the idea is to telescope your ribs and spine up. making your spine longer, creating space for the vertebrae. using your stomach muscles to support this lift.
  • check in with your arms and hands. image you have magnets on the outsides of your thighs and on the palms of your hands. the magnets are the same side so they are naturally repelling against each other. this means energy should extend out of your fingers into the ground. again stabile elbows, not locked elbows. same with your fingers and wrists. nothing should be locked, just stabile and free for blood to flow.
  • stack your hips, ribs and shoulders over each other, creating a straight spine. now imagine you have a string coming out of the top of your head, pulling your spine up at the same time your tailbone is reaching toward the ground. all this energy moving in opposite directions is what wakes up the body and brings you into the present moment, aware of exactly what you’re doing right now.
  • breathe.

close your eyes and just breathe. check in with all the parts we just set up, maintain this pose for as long as you can/want.

 

and that, is tadasana (in a nutshell). who knew that standing was so involved?

whether you’ve been doing yoga forever or just starting out it’s always good to have a refresher on this basic, yet extremely important pose. the awareness and consciousness necessary to just stand, correctly, will help throughout the rest of your practice.

 

thanks for reading. hope you all found this useful. definitely happy to hear from you so let me know what you think in the comments. thank you.

iyengar image from here
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