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Standing postures in yoga prepares a firm foundation for upper body movement. One such basic posture is tadasana which when mastered, can bring stability in other yoga poses.
Usually some people stand by putting their whole body weight over one leg while leaving another leg completely free sideways. Also, most of us bear all the body weight over the heels, or the inner or outer edge of the feet, while, it should be evenly distributed throughout the feet.
If you want to improve your posture, then Tadasana can do wonders for you. Let’s learn about this yoga pose.
Mountain Pose: Tadasana
Mountain Pose is a standing posture that teaches to distribute the body weight, evenly throughout the whole feet, while standing. It is a pose where someone stands firm and erect as a mountain.
Tadasana is the core pose of all the standing asanas. The alignment of the body parts we develop here carries over all the standing asanas. That’s why we also call it the mother of all standing asanas.
Meaning of Tadasana/Mountain Pose
Tadasana is coined out from two Sanskrit words, Tada and Asana. Tada means mountain, and asana means posture or pose. Combining both, Tadasana means, the mountain pose or posture.
The body posture in this asana looks like a tada or mountain, therefore, we call it the mountain pose or Tadasana.
We also know Mountain Pose by another name that is Samasthiti. Here, Sama means straight or upright, and Sthiti is standing still or steadiness. It means Standing still and straight.
How to Do Mountain Pose
As Tadasana is the basic standing pose, it is very easy to do. Let’s see, this whole process, in detail, in the following steps.
Let’s start the practice of Mountain Pose with arranging the feet.
- Stand erect, bare feet with heels and big toes touching each other.
- Rest the balls of the toes on the floor and stretch all the toes.
- Evenly distribute the whole bodyweight among the center of feet, outer feet, balls of toes, and heels of the feet.
- Now, engage the knees. Contract and pull the muscles of knees, hips, and thighs, inwards, towards the back of thighs.
- Stretch the arms over the side of the thighs, but, little apart from the thighs.
Upper Body Arrangement
- Keep the stomach in and chest forward.
- Stretch the spine up and neck straight.
This is the body arrangement of Mountain Pose. Let’s move for further steps.
- Bring your concentration to a single object or gaze straight.
- Now breathe in and come in this arrangement.
- Hold this position for a few seconds (according to your convenience), then gently release with an exhalation.
This is one round of the asana, repeat the whole process 10 times.
Referance- Light on Yoga, BKS Iyenger.
If you are a beginner in Tadasana, you might find it difficult to maintain the balance of your body in this pose. When your feet are close to each other, it is often hard to bring body balance.
Therefore, you can keep a little distance (about 8-12 inches or as the hip-width) between your legs. Also, you can take the help of a wall to get aligned, especially in the case of women in pregnancy or mensuration cycles.
Precautions and Contraindications
However, Tadasana is very beneficial for the body, but, still, you need to take some precautions for the practice of this asana. Here is a list of precautions and contraindications of Mountain Pose.
- Do not perform Tadasana immediately after taking a meal. It is best to perform it with an empty stomach.
- People suffering from insomnia should not perform this Asana.
- If you are having a headache, do not practice this asana.
- Excess of this asana can lower your blood pressure. So, if you are having low blood pressure, avoid this asana.
- Do not perform Mountain Pose in hurry. Perform it slowly and gently.
Benefits of Mountain Pose
Strengthen Knees, Legs, and Thighs
Tadasana mainly focuses on the muscles of knees, legs, and thighs. The gentle contraction and stretch on these muscles allow these muscles to store more power and strength. Thus, this asana helps in strengthening these parts of the body.
Improves Standing Posture
Mountain Pose practice teaches the equal distribution of the body weight throughout the feet. This makes you habitual of standing in the right posture. Consequently, the regular practice of this asana gradually improves your standing posture.
Relieves the Body Stress
The practice of Mountain Pose gently stretches almost all the outer muscles of the body. It also directs the flow of blood to lower part muscles of the body. It is like a massage to these muscles. Also, it makes a better flow of prana throughout the body.
Consequently, it relieves all the stress that is stored in your body, especially in the lower (hip) part.
Besides, this practice firms abdomen part and buttocks.
Due to our routine work (like a desk job etc.), we lose mobility of our body parts. Mountain Pose stretches the body, especially of arms, feet, knees, thighs, chest, shoulders, neck and spine. This gradually increases the mobility of these parts and make them more flexible.
When the asana is modified, it creates a variation. There are two variations of Tadasana, as described below.
1. Extended Tadasana (Palm Tree Pose)
The Palm Tree Pose increases the flexibility of the overall body and it is especially beneficial in increasing height.
To perform this asana, firstly, stand in Tadasana. Then raise the hands above the head and interlock the fingers of both hands, palm facing upwards.
Now, with an inhalation, lift your heels, bringing your entire body weight on the toes and stretch the hands and entire body upwards. Then gently release the asana with an exhalation and repeat the process again.
2. Tiryaka Tadasana
The Triyaka Tadasana gives good stretching and flexibility to the sides and waist region.
If you want to practice this asana, then, firstly, stand in Palm Tree Pose, expending your feet. Now, with inhalation, bend your upper body from the waist, towards the right. Now, release it with an exhalation. After exhalation, repeat the same with the left side.
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