headstand, you need to first master the mountain pose. It may appear to be easy, but you need to perfect the technique that can actually transform your entire body and mind. It is usually one of the first poses taught in a yoga class.
While performing the pose, you must feel grounded, become stable and connect to the earth as the energy passes down in the body and enables the free flow of prana in the spine. In his book, The Art and Science of Raja Yoga, Swami Kriyananda explains that the most important yoga posture is the ability to stand on your own two feet. Tadasana sets the tone for the other poses to follow and also serves as the neutral pose between other standing poses.
How does it work? Owing to our sedentary lifestyle, most of us may often experience a tight muscle or back pain due to sitting in one pose through the day. Tadasana works to align your skeleton and brings it back to its neutral stance. It takes muscular effort to get into this pose which strengthens the core and weak backs.
"The Tadasana helps to create space within the body and allows the internal organs to work more efficiently, improves the respiratory system, digestive system and blood circulation. In addition, it improves concentration, increased strength for knees, thighs and ankles, greater flexibility of the spine, relief from sciatica, as well as an overall increase in energy. The steady and concentrated posture of the pose can really help calm the mind. Considering a lot of our guests are beginners at yoga, the Tadasana is the perfect pose to introduce them to the art of yoga," says Franny Chandra, Yoga Instructor at The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi.
1. Stand on the ground barefoot with your legs and feet joined together. Bend your knees slightly and the straighten them to help loosen your joints.
2. It is also said that you should focus your concentration on a particular spot in front of you to avoid distractions. This is known as drishti. It encourages mental awareness.
3. Firm your thigh muscles and turn them slightly inwards while lifting your knee cap. Keep in mind not to harden your lower belly. Strengthen the inner arches of your ankles while lifting them.
4. Lengthen your tailbone and imagine a line of energy passing through your body.
5. Going up, lift your chest up and out and push your shoulder blades back. Widen your collarbones.
6. Raise your head, lengthening your neck in the process. Keep breathing deeply. While inhaling, you will feel the breath travelling through your toes, stomach and up to the head. As you exhale, feel your breath going down from the head to the stomach and finally your feet.
7. Breathe in and raise your toes gently and try to balance your body on your heels. Stretch your shoulders, arms and chest upwards while your toes bear your body weight. Feel the stretch in your body from the head to the feet. Hold this pose for about 5 to 10 seconds and then gently exhale. This is a variation to the Tadasana known as the Palm Tree Pose.
"Repeat this asana 2 or 3 times. Gradually try to increase the duration of this asana. After sufficient practice, take 4 steps forward and backward when you are standing on your toes. This will improve your grace while walking," recommends Franny.
Benefits of Tadasana
1. The biggest benefit of tadasana is that it helps in correcting your posture and improves your balance by making your spine more agile.
2. It helps in increasing the flexibility of your ankles, thighs and joints.
3. It can tone your hips and abdomen and helps to gain control over your muscular movements.
4. It is also believed that it may help in increasing your height if practised regularly during formative years.
5. Tadasana strengthens your nervous system and regulates your respiratory and digestive functions.
“Samasehitih is the sanskrit name for this pose which means a balanced state. In this pose, you try to achieve a balanced state of your body and a balanced state of consciousness. It serves as a starting point for other poses and more importantly it helps you calm down between other yoga poses where you are constantly stretching and exerting. During this pose, you are more aware of your breath, so focus on breathing the right way,” says Abhishek Maheshwari, who teaches at Mystic Yoga in Kolkata.
A very simple yoga pose which is regarded as the ‘mother of asanas’, tadasana is like the base from which all the poses emerge. The word ‘Tada’ means mountain. To be able to get into other important standing poses like handstand or