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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Tadasana – Standing on Your Own Two Feet

Jul 31, 2022 09:00AM ● By Naomi Greene
Feeling empowered occurs on several levels—physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. In yoga philosophy, everything flows from the mental or intellectual level to the verbal level, and finally to the physical level. It also works in reverse: if we do something on the physical level, it affects the mental and more subtle levels of our being.
   
For example, to practice non-violence, yoga teaches that we first stop injuring others physically. The next step is to stop saying we’re going to hurt someone, or to threaten. Finally, yogis practice watching their thoughts so that thoughts of injuring another don’t even cross the mind.
   
Inner and physical strength comes from feeling grounded—that we’re able to move forward physically and mentally, with confidence. The yoga pose Tadasana (tah-DAH-suh-nah), or Mountain Pose, is the starting point for all of yoga. “Tada” means “mountain”. “Asana” means pose.
   
Tadasana is the foundational pose for all asanas. It means that all poses, with the possible exception of Corpse Pose (lying on the floor), flow from Tadasana. The posture provides mental preparation and alignment before the practitioner takes a step, or moves into another position. Thus, it serves as a metaphor for life as well—being grounded, mentally preparing, developing awareness, before making a move.
   
Standing still in Tadasana may seem simple, and it certainly looks that way when one is practicing. However, it is a very active pose that provides alignment and stability. Yogis would say there is no such thing as perfect posture, but we can try to develop better personal alignment. Even the name “Mountain Pose” suggests a strong image of being rooted to the earth, while lifting and reaching toward the sky.
   
Whether or not you practice yoga, practicing Mountain Pose can offer new insights into your own physical alignment as well as into your own walking habits or other exercises.

Mountain Pose/Tadasana Technique
• Stand with your (preferably bare) feet, about hip width apart, so that your feet feel comfortably under the hips.
• Keeping feet still, move the body forward and back in small movements, or in small circular moves, until you feel balanced over both feet.
• Now, imagine a point between both feet, and draw a line or small rod up to the ankles. Move ankles around and find a balance of both around this center point and over the feet.
• Bring the imaginary line/rod up to and between the knees. Knees should be flexed, with knee caps lifted. Balance the knees over the ankles and over your feet.
• Bring the line/rod to center of hips. The pelvis is an elliptical shape. Center the hips and balance so that they’re equally balanced up or down, forward and back. Balance hips over the knees and feet.
• The tailbone is in a natural position—not protruding backward.
• Continue lifting the line/rod to the center of the torso. The rib cage can also move forward and back, or side to side. Find a center point to balance the rib cage around the center line/rod, and feel it balanced over the hips, knees and feet.
• The shoulders are relaxed with shoulder blades gently drawn back. Arms hang comfortably at your sides. Palms can face forward.
• Now, the line/rod moves up to just at the base of the head. Balance the head on the center of the imaginary line/rod.
• Now, draw the line/rod up through the center of your head, toward the ceiling. Feel all your body weight lift upward.
• Breathe. Hold this position and be still for a few breaths.
• Mentally scan your body. Feel both rooted securely to the ground, while feeling uplifted.
   
It is also interesting to practice Mountain Pose while standing in a line (although not while wearing heels). You may want to try this alignment just before going for a walk. Try walking slowly, shifting weight from one foot, finding the balance point, before shifting weight onto the front foot.  
   
Feeling balanced, while lifting your weight, you’ll experience a feeling of groundedness and lightness at the same time. Now you know how to stand on your own two feet.

Naomi Greene is a certified yoga teacher and freelance writer. A former Chicagoan,
she currently lives in Tucson, where she is a staff member at The Yoga Connection, a nonprofit yoga center. The Yoga Connection offers yoga classes to suit all levels, and has been offering yoga teacher training leading to certification for over 30 years. Connect at 520-323-1222 or YogaConnection.org.

The Yoga Connection - 3929 E Pima Tucson AZ

The Yoga Connection - 3929 E Pima, Tucson, AZ

The Yoga Connection is a non-profit 501(c)3 serving the Tucson Community for more than 30 years. The center is dedicated to serving all who seek to learn Hatha Yoga, meditation or the Kr... Read More » 

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