Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Day 7 Yoga Task - Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Hope Day 6's pose went well! The pose for Day 7 is Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Tadasana is a basic standing pose and is considered the foundation for all poses. Some of Tadasana's benefits include:

  • Aligns the body, improving posture
  • Lengthens the spine
  • Increases understanding over proper weight distribution and position of the feet
  • Helps develop balance
  • Helps increase flexibility in the ankles, knees and hip joints
  • Works on internal rotation of the femurs (thigh bone)
  • Increases awareness
  • Helps with breathing
  • Promotes digestion and elimination
  • Strengthens the nervous system
*Photo/illustration credit: from Yoga Anatomy, 2nd Edition. Leslie Kaminoff, Amy Matthews. 2012.

  • Stand either with your feet parallel, either together or with feet about hip-width apart.Toes are pointed forward.
  • Shift your weight back onto your heels, gently lifting your toes off the ground. Then, lengthen your toes forward and down to the ground. Notice how this changes the weight distribution on each foot. You should feel like your weight is distributed over the "four corners" of each foot.
  • Feel rooted in the earth.
  • Engage your quadriceps (thigh muscles), which helps to lift your knee caps.
  • As you do this, feel a gentle lift in the inner arches of your feet.
  • Feel this lengthening energy moving up through the body.
  • Lengthen your tailbone toward the ground, lifting your pubic bone toward the navel.
  • Your arms are at your sides. Start with facing your palms and elbow creases forward. Then turn the palms in toward the body, elbow creases still facing forward. Your arms are slightly away from you body.
  • Move your shoulder blades down the back, toward your waist. Feel the lift. Keep open in your chest, sternum (breastbone) lifted.
  • The bottom of your chin is parallel to the ground. At the same time, imagine a string at the crown of your forehead gently lifting your crown toward the sky.
  • Soften your throat and tongue.
  • Soften or close your eyes. If your eyes remain open, find a focal point and gaze softly.
  • Notice the feeling of grounding into the earth through your feet and the lifting of energy through your body into the sky.
  • Imagine you are a mountain, with a stable and rooted base and a crown that reaches toward the sky.
  • Stand in this pose for 5 minutes, with your awareness focused on your breath and any sensations you feel in your body. Try engaging in Ujjayi breath here (remember, it's the "ocean" or "Darth Vader" breath).
Can't wait to hear your thoughts on this pose. Tadasana is a wonderful pose. Enjoy!

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