As the month of August is winding down to an end I wanted to ask…have you been working your Mountain Pose? Well, in our home it has caught on and my son, Darius insisted that I share his Tadasana with all of you. How beautiful and how awesome to see him connecting with self. As he practiced this asana he quickly discovered that he had to become aware of his actions. He had to quiet his brain and let his body be the guide. Lastly, he had to slow down and just breath. Afterwards he stated; “Man this yoga stuff is hard, but I like it.”
His statement shows that in order to grow we have to find grace in the challenges of our lives. If we pack up and run every time things get “too hard” we will not discover the strength that lies within us waiting to blossom. We also have to turn our energy inward to explore the possibilities of self. In the beginning of his practice, he wanted to simply mimic my actions which is perfectly fine, and natural. However, the true growth of his Tadasana came when his energy began to turn inward. By drawing our attention to self we find weakness and strength. We can also find stiffness and flexibility. Overtime these elements will find harmony given us a greater appreciation for self. In my opinion, this is the best gift of one’s yoga practice.
As we visit Tadasana for the last time this month here are a few tips to help you get the most from this asana.
1. Stand with your feet hip distance a part. Draw your weight evenly between both feet and legs. Feel your feet rooted deeply into the earth by keeping the heels firm and the toes extended. As your balance improves bring your big toes and heels together.
2. As you ground down in your feet, feel a line of energy from the ankles, to the knees, and the hips. Begin to draw the leg muscle up and curl your tailbone forward. As you move the tailbone forward feel the lower back, or lumbar spine lengthen. Begin to gently draw your belly in, as well as up to support the lower back.
3. Let the arms extend along the sides of your body, with palms facing your thighs, and fingers pointing down. Feel the neck lengthen away from your shoulders. Continue to draw your shoulders back and down, as if you were going to place your shoulder blades in your back pockets. Lift your sternum, or your heart center, and broaden your chest. Let your breath flow in and out normally.
4. As you stand in your Mountain Pose continue pressing down through the mounds of your toes and heels of the feet. Feel yourself rooted in the lower body and yet light in your upper body. Allow the breath to quiet the mind as you seek stillness and strength from within. Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds. Each time you practice your asana continue to come with a curiosity, and a willingnees to discover something new that lies within you.
(Reference: B.K.S. Iyengar YOGA the Path to Holistic Health, p.68-69)