In order to make a good first impression, we often offer a firm handshake. Similarly, if we want to make a good first appearance, we stand straight and tall.
Tadasana or Mountain Pose helps you to find that poised posture. It helps restore alignment and put things back in their proper place.
Practicing Tadasana restores balance, spinal alignment, hip extension, shoulder placement and positioning of the organs. It reignites proprioceptor sensors in the hands and feet, creating more spatial awareness.
The practice of mountain pose also helps manage emotions. Standing slumped forward tends to reinforce feelings of depression or defeat. Whereas, straightening up tends to restore feelings of confidence and ease.
There is an expression, “Fake it till you make it.” Standing with correct posture allows nervous feelings to diminish and helps us achieve results we desire.
So, let’s begin the practice of Tadasana.
Feet First: First start with your feet hip distance apart. Practice lifting your toes up, spreading them wide and then setting them down, so you can find your arches. Do this a few times.
Knees: Allow a microbend of he knees, so they are active rather than locked.
Hands: The palms should be facing forward in the anatomical position, with the fingers gently reaching toward the ground. The triceps or inner arms will become more activated with the palms forward and it enables the chest to open up more.
Abdomen: Imagine a button 2 inches below your belly button and gently pull that area inward and upward toward the spine.
Chest: Allow the chest and heart to buoyantly rise and allow the shoulders to naturally roll backward and downward.
Head Check: Bring the chin downward to the chest, feeling the elongation of the back of the neck. Bring the chin parallel to the floor, while maintaining much of that neck elongation. Feel as if a string is gently pulling upward on the crown of the head. Allow the head to bobble from side to side a little so it will feel more free.
Breath: Feel this posture and use the breath to create space. Make any adjustments by breathing into a space that might need care and use the exhale to let any tension in that area go.
Standing in Tadasana for just 60 seconds, a few times a day, can bring about big changes in body alignment and confidence.
The morning after I had my daughter, I practiced Tadasana 3 times a day while I was in the hospital. Intuitively, I knew it was what my body needed and I could feel changes within my abdomen each time I took the pose.
The nurse in charge at Saddleback Hospital was training a group of future RNs while I was there. She was shocked because the shape of my uterus went right back to its normal size by Day 2 in the hospital. She had never seen that before and wanted to know what I did. I showed her Mountain Pose. She seemed skeptical and literally turned around with her flock of young white coated students.
That was 16 years ago. Now hospitals in my area offer onsite prenatal yoga classes or refer patients to Mohm Yoga, where I teach prenatal under the direction of owner, Danya Sher. You better believe that Tadasana is one of the poses we recommend after delivery.
I also taught this pose when I worked as a PE instructor for Irvine Unified. Children often came to PE with attention difficulties, particularly those in the first grade and second grade. We would practice 60 seconds of Mountain Pose and it was like a little miracle. Many of the kids would emerge with smiles on their faces. I remember one boy saying, “Why do I feel so good?” I told him it was because he learned how to focus and relax.
Those children were my inspiration for becoming a yoga teacher and why Tadasana remains one of my favorite poses today. It is so restorative and uplifting.
If you feel the urge to look a few years younger, a few pounds lighter and few inches taller, practice a new alignment trick, “Tadah with Tadasana!”