“Yoga is like music: the rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.” ―B.K.S. Iyengar
When it comes to yoga, I vibrate with the desire to run up to others and introduce them to the magic of yoga– quite literally, if there is a possibility to discuss yoga, I bounce in my seat, my active listening skills fly out the window, and I just want to jump up and boogie. It is such an incredible part of my life, that I figured I would be doing us all a disservice if I didn’t have it pop up on the blog.
At first, I wanted to do an asana, or posture, every Wednesday, but then I thought about all the rich history and depth of culture surrounding yoga, and I realized there had to be more than just the physical stuff. So with that being said, get ready to read, learn, and grow mentally, spiritually, and physically (a pretty powerful combination, no?).
Please only do what your body can handle, nothing more and nothing less. Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone. I encourage you to go to this beautiful edge and embark on a journey of incredible transformations that your body is capable of. Try not to master or critique each posture or each idea, because yoga itself is always a practice and there is always a choice to delve deeper and grow. And who wants to be stuck in a rut knowing exactly where their body will be every single time? Where is the fun in that?!
My hope is that with these posts, your idea of yoga grows from tight spandex and stretching to a magnificent tool for growth and expansion, strength and balance, sturdiness and poise --- in all aspects of our life! Wooohoooo!
Without further ado… Tadasana!
TADASANA || mountain pose
Asana literally translates to easy seat. Asana can also be defined as a physical posture or position in Yoga that helps us reach peace and harmony within our body. Tadasana is also known as mountain pose and is the foundation for all of the standing postures in yoga. It engages almost all of the muscles* in our body, stabilizing our quadriceps (quad muscles), rectus abdominis (lower abdomen), and hamstrings, just to name a few! It also shortens or contracts our gluteus maximus (the hiney) and triceps while also lengthening our biceps brachii (biceps). Amazing, right?
Want to try it yourself?
In this asana, you have beautiful posture, a long torso, and a grounding place to return to when everything gets a little messy. Stay in this pose, breathing comfortably, anywhere from 30 seconds to infinite [that might be a little much—it’s all about variety ;) ].
- Stand with the bases of your big toes touching, heels slightly apart. Lift and spread your toes, wiggle them around a little, and then softly plant them on the floor (or mat). Balance your weight evenly in the four corners of your feet (catch my drift? Comment if that confuses you).
- Draw up on your thigh muscles until you feel them actively strong and sturdy. You might feel your kneecaps move slightly upward. Turn your upper thighs slightly inward, scooping the tailbone and engaging your pelvic floor muscles (those muscles you use to stop the flow of your urine). You will feel your low belly turn on or start to tone.
- Imagine a flow of energy running from your pelvic floor to the top of your head, coursing from your inner thighs to your groin, up through your core and torso, the neck and head, and out through the crown of your head.
- Roll your shoulders up, back, and down, setting them on your back. Breathe space into your collarbone, widening you chest without pushing your lower ribs forward. Stand with spine long from its base to neck.
- The crown of your head balances evenly with the underside of your chin parallel to the floor – you could place books on your head and they wouldn’t fall over...
- Soften your throat, tongue, and eyes.
- And remember to breathe easy, love.
*I’d like to arm you with as much knowledge as you can handle, so I’m going to use the full, anatomically correct name for the muscles in our body—I will try to write the more popular name to the right, but if there is ever a time when it doesn’t make sense, let me know :) .
P.S. I'm really working on my photography, I swear. And I almost zapped this post, because I was bothered by the photograph, so just know it's going to get better, but this is where I am right now...xxoo