Spotlight on Tadasana: How to do mountain pose

Apr 5, 2020Suvatacast

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Transcript

Hello beautiful yogis. Thank you so much for tuning into Suvatacast. My name is Ysmay, and I want this show to be a resource for people who are getting started with yoga or are deepening their yoga practice. So with that in mind, I am going to start spending one episode highlighting one pose.

And the current plan is to do these spotlight episodes every other episode, and I’m going to label them “spotlight on” and then the post name so you know that you can go ahead and skip it if you happen to already have a good understanding of that post.

But for people who are just getting started with yoga, who maybe need a refresher, I want these episodes to be a resource for you. With that in mind, this is the first spotlight episode and today I’m shining a spotlight on tadasana.

Woman doing tadasana, mountain pose.

What is Tadasana?

Tadasana, or Mountain Pose, is a standing pose. It is one of the core foundational poses for every yoga practice.

Tadasana helps cultivate the balance of effort and surrender within a pose and this is the essence of yoga. It is important to learn the principles of Tadasana as they’re transferred into all other poses. Tadasana is used before and in between standing poses and also by itself to help improve inner awareness. Tadasana improves posture, it strengthens your thighs, knees and ankles, it firms, your abdomen, and it helps relieve sciatica.

If you have a headache, if you’ve been having trouble sleeping, or if you have low blood pressure, you may want to avoid tadasana. But listen to your body because only you know if your body is sending you any alarm bells.

I often have a low grade headache and I’m just used to that, so I stick with my yoga practice anyway. And, often I find my headache is relieved, but your body may be different. So listen to your body. If you have a headache you may not want to do tadasana.

Before I share how to do this pose step by step I want to share a few key points with you that will make it easier for you to execute So first and foremost, make sure your knees and your toes are pointed in the same direction. If your toes are pointed outwards or inwards, or maybe your knees are externally rotated, bring everything back to center.

Next, I want you to make sure that you are lifting the top of your chest up towards the ceiling. And this is going to allow you to lengthen your spine and descend your tailbone down towards the floor. This is going to give you a nice long length through your back. And this will also help you if you have any issues from sitting in front of a desk for too long for example. So make sure you are lifting the top of your chest, pulling your tailbone down towards the floor.

Here’s how to do tadasana step by step.

First, stand with your feet hip width apart and your toes pointing and forwards. rock back and forth gently and gently from side to side until you feel balanced evenly between your feet. Lift your toes, spread them wide and then place them back down on the the mat.

You may find that that is a weird sensation. You may not be able to keep your toes spread for the duration of the pose. In fact, you may not be able to do it for more than just a few seconds and that is completely okay. But practice that because it will help you strengthen your feet.

Second, bring your awareness to the mounds beneath your big toes in the mounds beneath your baby toes. And then to the center of your heel. Allow these points to root down into the earth.

And as these points root down, gently lift the arches of your feet if you can, and feel the earth energy rising up into your feet.

Third, slightly bend your knees and engage your calf muscles. Slightly rotate your shins externally as you press your feet and down into the earth. Strengthen the legs. Lift and firm your thigh muscles and rotate them slightly inward and then back and soften your glutes.

Extend up through the spine and breathe into the heart. Externally rotate your upper arms widening across the chest. Feel your shoulder blades pulling down into your back.

If your lower ribs are too far forward, bring your navel back in towards your spine to help even out and lengthen your torso. Then, make sure your ears aren’t alignment with the shoulders and bring your chin parallel to the floor.

Feel that nice length in your spine and feel that length going all the way down from the base of your head all the way down to your tailbone. When you are in this pose, you can really feel the balance between effort and surrender.

I want you to maintain enough effort to support the pose, but not so much that you feel stiff and rigid. I want you to feel engaged in tadasana, but not tense.

Tips

You can improve your balance in tadasana by standing with your feet at different widths. And I want you to play around with that. Experiment between your feet close together and your feet up to about six, seven inches apart. And I want you to really make it note mentally of how the pose feels as you adjust the space between your feet. Then you’ll understand what it feels like if your feet are too wide apart, or if they’re way too close together and you just cannot possibly stay balanced that way. You’re going to find what works for you and that is very important; your yoga practice is unique to your body. I don’t want you to feel as though you’re failing if you cannot do the pose exactly the way I described.

Also, working with rotations can be quite overwhelming and confusing. If you don’t understand how to rotate a muscle group for example, don’t worry about it. I want you then to just focus on engaging your muscle groups and not focus on any of the rotations.

If you’re unsure of how straight you feel in this pose, if you can’t quite tell yet, then do it up against the wall. Stand with the backs of your heels, your sacrum and your shoulder blades touching the wall. But don’t press the middle of your back against the wall so you don’t lose that natural spinal curve. So back up against the wall. Make sure your heels are touching the wall. And, that your shoulders are touching the wall and this will give you a pretty good idea of how straight you are. Maintain that sensation as you move away from the wall and back into the center of your yoga mat.

Transcription by https://otter.ai

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