Thursday, February 6, 2014

Tadasana, simple and elegant

Five reasons to perfect your Samasthithi, or Tadasana

This posture facilitates:

1.  total body alignment
2.  a more open chest , facilitating  deeper breathing
3.  strengthening of  total body ;  muscular and skeletal systems, eyes, nervous system
4. strengthening of muscles in the  feet
5. greater focus and concentration in all standing poses

The posture is deceivingly  simple;  just stand perfectly upright and in alignment from head to toe.  Easy to describe, not so easy to do.  I suggest you start by standing against a wall with your feet just a few inches away from the wall.  Let your buttucks be your guide. Let them lightly touch the wall and feel your shoulders just making contact with the wall.  This is your starting point.

Now, with the big bones just below your big toes touching, heels slightly apart, tuck the pelvis in using your lower abdominal muscles, try to lift your sternum ( do this to open the chest cavity), and let your chin be parallel to the floor, and let your eyes softly gaze on something directly in front of you. Arms hang by your sides, palms open and facing your thighs. Spread your fingers softly.

Try to visualize feeling grounded through your feet into Mother Earth. Relax the toes, lift the arches
( do this by subtly rolling your ankles in towards one another), feel the balance of your body standing over the middle of your feet, keeping light contact between the balls of your feet, your heels and the inner and outer soles of the feet.

Let your focus travel up your body from your feet and ankles. Soften the knees and tuck the pelvis. These two actions in conjunction with lifting the arches of your feet provide the alignment of your lower body. Now gently engage the mooladara and uddiana bandhas and then lift the sternum and chest. At this point you may have to adjust your pelvis and tuck it in again. Inhale and roll your shoulders up towards your ears and then drop them behind your ears and back, shoulders blades coming towards one another. There, almost finished getting into the pose.

Remember, how you get into and out of the pose is just as important as holding the pose. So, take your time, slow the breath, and calm the thoughts as you do this.

Bring your attention to your neck and head. The chin is held parallel to the floor, the eyes look in front of you and rest gently on a focal point, or dristhi. Smooth out any tension held in your forehead or in your jaw. Consciously relax the lips and mouth and even the tongue. Visualize relaxing your hairline and the back of your head. Let the ears relax into place.

Take a few deep cleansing breaths, adjust your posture again. Bring your focus to your ajna chakra.

You are in Tadasana or Samasthithi. Enjoy the pose and breath.

Breath and enjoy the beautiful sensations of your energy pulsing through your body.  Enjoy the peace and calmness.  

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