To the untrained eye, and even the untrained yogi, Tadasana – Mountain Pose – may seem pretty simple, however Tadasana is actually quite complex as it is one pose where all the muscles, bandhas and diaphragmatic breathing apparatus are engaged. This is not to say that the whole body is tensed, but rather sturdy and unmovable, like a mountain.
The directions below can be used to ensure that Tadasana is done correctly. You will know when you are doing it right because of the feeling of grounding and stability that reverberates through the body. In fact, you should build up heat in the body (and even sweat!) with the amount of energy pulsing through you.
How to do Tadasana
- Stand with the feet hip width distance apart (measured by putting your two fists between your insteps)
- Lift and spread the toes, before grounding them back down and pushing into the floor
- Turn the heel slightly in, so you have the feeling of the feet stabilizing from three points – the heel, big toe and little toe (pada bandha)
- Engage the calf and quadracep muscle groups, whilst “lifting” the kneecaps (so as not to lock the knees out)
- Tuck the tailbone inwards without tensing the buttocks, engaging mula bundha
- Lift the shoulders and roll them back down away from the ears, opening the chest
- Keep the head on a long neck, with the chin slightly down to open the airway down the back of the throat, engaging jalandhara bandha
- Don’t forget about the arms – keep the intensity going right down to the fingertips.
By following these instructions, you should feel every part of your body is working in some way. Once in the posture, you can close your eyes and use it as an opportunity to focus on your diaphragmatic breathing which will further intensify the posture by strengthening your core.
Good for your yoga class, and also great way to work your muscles while standing in line at the supermarket or bank!