I remember when I took my very first yoga class. I was practicing all sort of sports, and found the class pretty easy to follow. The only challenging pose to me was Tadasana, Mountain pose, standing still….to arrive at the top of my mat, feet apart, standing tall.
1- Deconstructing The Mountain Pose. Spending a few minutes deconstructing the very simple act of just standing. The integrity of posture, alignment, breath, form, were all presented to me in this one posture that I had done daily without much thought. Tadasana’ (Mountain Pose) or Samasthiti (Unmoved, Equilibrium). So turns out in yoga, just standing has a name in its own right. Starting from the feet, we were introduced to ‘Pada- Bandha’ whereby the toes are spread wide and inner arches actively lifted, through the hips and torso whereby the former is drawn in slightly as a response to the active engagement of the abdominals, an elongated spine, broad chest and lifted crown.
2- It’s All About Breath and Alignment. Reflecting on this lesson many years later, I feel I haven’t given this integral pose the due it deserves. With so many asana to get through in a practice session, Tadasana has often served as a means to an end; a segway-pose that gets us from one place to the next or a quick rest-stop to catch your breath.Despite the absence of external exertion, true yoga happens within. Similarly in Tadasana, true activity is unapparent to the naked eye. The substance of breath and pure alignment in this pose, makes this truly one of the greatest postures one can practice.
3-Mountain Pose To The People! Nowadays, I teach Tadasana as an asana in its own right; deserving more than 1 breath I allow it 5 or sometimes even 10. I find myself using the practice of Tadasana between each flow as a means of allowing the body to process and absorb the benefits of the continuous flow. Checking with breath, heartbeat, energy sensations in the body and the mind, grounding oneself again, Tadasana introduces a profound meditative element to one’s practice. Furthermore it serves to awaken a more active awareness of physical alignment.
4- Taking Tadasana off the mat and into our daily lives, it is a wonder how often we take for granted the complex intricacies of this simple pose. Re-engaging with the dual action of grounding and lifting, Tadasana is the perfect way of welcoming space, improving posture and reconnecting with the sensation of our true union with stillness and strength.