COURTESY MANOA YOGA CENTER
Tadasana, the foundation of all of the standing poses, develops balance, posture and perseverance.
Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Tadasana is the foundation of the clan of poses known as standing asanas. This pose challenges us to balance our weight, attention and structure without falling into habitual patterns of unevenness. It requires great concentration while increasing awareness of posture and developing balance, sensitivity and calm perseverance.
Find an even surface and stand with feet together. Look down at the feet. Bring the big toes together so they touch evenly, and press the balls of the big toes down. Keep them pressed as you spread the weight to the inner heels and outer edges of the feet. Distribute the weight evenly on both feet.
Take your fingers to the thighs, and looking at the thighs, press them back until you feel the weight come onto the front edge of the heels. Do not shift or move the feet. The thighs should lift the kneecaps and the legs should become firm and straight.
Keeping the thighs back, take one hand to the lower belly and the other hand to the buttocks. As you lift the pit of the belly up, draw the buttocks down. This lifts the pelvis, prevents the buttocks from sticking out, and minimizes arching of the lower back. Keep the legs firm and straight.
Maintain the position as you roll the thighs in so the knees point forward.
Now spread and open the chest: turn the upper arms out, and pull the shoulder blades into the back. Extend the arms straight down to align with the trunk. Move the shoulders down and away from the ears.
Keep the chin parallel to the floor and look straight forward, as if gazing at the horizon. The head should be neither tilted back nor thrown forward.
Relax the face and breathe evenly through the nose as you work to keep the weight balanced evenly over the center of the feet. Do not oscillate. Adjust the back of the head, shoulders and buttocks to be in line with the heels. Do not overarch your back or slump.
Concentrate on maintaining this even, steady balance without distraction. This leads to a meditative state, free from distraction, as the body becomes light and poised.
and Shelley Choy
are certified Iyengar Yoga teachers and co-direct the Manoa Yoga Center at Manoa Marketplace. Visit www.manoayoga.com
or call 382-3910. Manoa Yoga Center, the authors and the Star-Bulletin take no responsibility for any injury arising from the practice of these yoga postures. Readers should seek a doctor's approval before commencing this yoga practice.