Yesterday I talked about starting our practice with a very simple but effect breathing technique that is both calming and grounding. Today I will take a look at mountain pose or tadasana – a similarly grounding asana which is the starting point for many postures. It is a lovely way to bring awareness to our bodies and in particular to our posture which so often can become hunched and compressed during our modern life (think hunching over a laptop, tablet or mobile phone!). While in tadasana try and feel the spine extending and yourself growing taller – maybe close your eyes and visualise a lovely tall mountain!
How to practice tadasana
Start with your feet – bare feet on the mat are best if you can. Start by by stepping your feet hip width distance apart (some teachers ask you to bring your feet together so find the variation that works best for you).
Make sure that your weight is distributed evenly between inner and outer edges of both feet, as well as the front and the back.
Spread your toes wide and and get a sense of feeling rooted – grounded.
Move your attention up to your ankles make sure that they aren’t rolling inward or outward – try to keep them neutral.
Working up from the ankles activate the muscles in your legs, but keep the knees soft to ensure they’re not locking out.
Tuck your tailbone under and neutralise your pelvis
Make sure the buttocks are soft – no squeezing!
Lengthen the spine and try and feel yourself growing taller. Draw your shoulders up to your ears then retract them pulling the shoulder blades together down the back, as you open and lift the chest
Gently tuck your lower ribs in to lengthen the spine and tight your stomach muscles to engage your core.
Gently draw your arms down and alongside your body gently. Turn the lower arms outward and activate your fingers dynamically spreading the palms forward
Try to bring the pelvis, rib cage, and shoulders in line with one another
Tilt your chin in to lengthen the back of the neck and relax the jaw
Draw energy up from the floor, from the earth and channel it through the body towards the crown
Breathe deeply into the full capacity of the rib cage – front body, side body, back body
Remain here for 5-8 breaths
Tadasana cultivates clarity and calm
It develops strength, balance and endurance
It will induce a sense of presence and peace
It brings increased strength and flexibility of the feet
It will improve your overall posture