Tadasana

Posted on May 17, 2013 in Postures | 0 comments

tadasana

Tadasana, at first sight,  appears to be the simplest and least challenging yoga asana you can practice.  In practice this is possibly one of the most challenging. As we get older we generally become lazy in our stance and harness bad habits like carrying the weight more on the left hip or slouching in the upper back for example.  Incorrect weight distribution can lead to a catalogue of physical injury to our joints and overall alignment as well as restrictions to our energy flow and mental clarity.

Your yoga class will often begin with Tadasana,  to direct your awareness to your feet on the ground and to stand stall in your spine. Additionally many postures and sequences  may begin and or end in Tadasana.  Its a wonderful place to come back to and can also be used to calm the breath and rebalance both body & mind before starting the next asana.

With continued practice, Tadasana will teach us to keep ourselves grounded and solid (like a mountain) in a world of full of chaos & distractions.  We gain confidence and balance from the knowledge with have firm foundations,  a solid core and strength with in , always.

 “You want to stand on your head and you don’t even know how to stand on your feet!”

BKS Iyengar

Pronunciation – Ta-das-anna
Translation – Tada – Mountain   Asana – pose
Anatomical Focus – Feet, legs, spine, head
Category – Standing pose

Step by Step Instruction

1 Begin by standing on your mat, with bare feet, which are slightly apart and parallel. Raise both sets of  toes off the ground & stretch them apart, giving space between the toes. Lower the toes back onto the mat & close your eyes. Feel your entire foot on the ground. Shift your weight gently from one foot to the other, from the heel to the ball of the foot, then find the centre of balance. Inhale and exhale here and feel the ground beneath your feet.

2Now take the attention into the inner ankles and activate the arches of the feet, raising them lightly. (dropped arches  are a very common problem and are often responsible for foot, ankle, knee & hip injuries). Acknowledge the strength in your  feet, ankles & your stance.

3Raise your focus to the kneecaps & raise them slightly by firming & contracting  the thighs.  Continue to feel evenly balanced between both feet and strong in your stance. Inhale & exhale.

4Tilt the pelvis forward to encourage the coccyx (base of the spine) to move further down, at the same time engaging the lower abdominal muscles and lifting them gently.  Inhale and exhale and feel connected in your root chakra (Muladhara), firm in your foundations. Acknowledge your spine now, standing tall and strong. Each vertebrae neatly stacked one ontop of the other. Head is securely resting on top of your spine.

5Allow the arms to hang by your sides, remain active yet relaxed in the shoulders by drawing them back and down. Inhale and exhale 3 times here. Expand the chest as you inhale feeling the expanse in the rib cage and empowerment connected to your heart chakra (Anahata).

6Allow your chin to rest parallel to the ground, your head sitting comfortable atop your spine. Continue to breathe freely and experience the strength in your stillness and solidity in your being.

 

Benefits

  • Draws the attention inward which allows you to experience the here & now. Very helpful if your mind is over-active and you have difficulties in switching off.
  • Re-aligns the postural structure by placing attention on evenly balanced weight distribution between left & right side. Thus reducing the risk of premature slouching, limping, collapsing on one side and wear & tear on the joints.
  • Tadasana represents solidity, that of a mountain, and promotes confidence and trust in ourselves.

Contraindications and Cautions

Tadasana is possible for everyone who is fully able to stand. Those who have physical limitations can practice sitting in a chair, ideally with the feet on the ground.

Beginners Tips

Sports Benefits

  • To practice Tadasana you address postural alignment and ensure weight is evenly balanced between right and left side. Thus reducing the risk of uneven weight baring and one side dominance during running & cycling, for example.
  • By lifting the inner arches, the ankles, knees and hips are stabilized provided continued strength for performance.
  • Tadasana takes the attention into your body, which allows you to experience any weakness and/or tightness in the muscles. This is particularly important if training for an event / competition when the desire to get in sufficient hours of training overtakes the attention to training with as much body awareness.

 

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