“Highlight on…” is a series of yoga tutorials, taking an in-depth look at various yoga postures and breathing techniques. These will offer step-by-step instructions, and help to give you an idea of what to feel for in each pose or breath exercise. If you’re new to yoga and meditation, this is a great place to start your journey; if you’re a seasoned yogi, it’s always nice to revisit the fundamentals. Our first tutorial: Tadasana, Mountain Pose.
Tadasana: Mountain Pose
From the Sanskrit words tada (mountain) and asana (posture, or seat), Mountain Pose embodies stability and foundation. The even stance of Mountain Pose – the firmly grounded, steady base, and the lengthened spine that reaches skyward – sets the tone for practice. When we stand in Tadasana, we are equally grounded and rising; our base is firm, yet we reach upward.
We will set up the pose from the bottom up:
- Stand tall with your big toes touching, heels slightly apart
- Lift all ten toes off the ground and feel how that activates the outer shins, calves, and arches of the feet; spread the toes and place them back down without losing this activation (like your feet are suction cups)
- Pull your kneecaps up towards your hips to activate the quadriceps
- Pretend there is a block between your thighs and gently squeeze it (if you have a block handy, give it a try!)
- Pull your pubic bone up towards your navel – this will mimic the action of tucking your tailbone without activating your glutes – keep the glutes relaxed
- Lift your sternum up towards the sky, then bring your floating ribs towards each other
- Gently pull your shoulder blades towards each other; keep the shoulders relaxed and away from your ears
- Activate your biceps and triceps with your arms at your sides, palms facing your thighs
- Bring your chin parallel with the ground, the gaze straight ahead