Standing Mountain, or Tadasana in Sanskrit, is one of the five foundational poses that has evolved for me over time. In my first ever Yoga class, I remember standing with my shoulders hunched forward and feeling as if time was being wasted. As I grew in my awareness of my physical body, I began to discover dynamic tension. Dynamic tension asks us to investigate the pulling of our muscles in opposite directions. My Standing Mountain went from letting my shoulders hunch forward and my mind becoming bored to a posture that brought beads of sweat to my forehead.
Challenge ourselves to stand upright, feet hips distance apart and spread our toes wide. Pressing into our mat with our entire foot we begin to activate dynamic tension and disobey gravity here. Soften the knees enough for a tiny bend (no one wants to be that person at a wedding that falls over from our knees being locked out) and let our belly be pulled in toward our spine. As our shoulders roll back, let our fingers become active in reaching toward the floor. The crown of our head reaches skyward allowing our spine to lengthen. Continue to cycle our consciousness through these different points of emphasis. Hold the posture for five full breaths. How do we feel?
Feel free to repeat for fewer or more breaths as we feel necessary. This posture can also be completed in a chair at home, work or even in our car (please keep both hands on the wheel though if driving). Always investigate and ask how we feel :). Who knows what we might learn about our body.
Health Benefits (http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/mountain-pose/)
- Improves posture
- Strengthens thighs, knees, and ankles
- Firms abdomen and buttocks
- Relieves sciatica
- Reduces flat feet