Another of those, `So what?` poses? Yes, and as so often in yoga, and
life, it is often the apparently simplest things that are the hardest to accomplish.
Tadasana is the name usually used to denote the standing upright position. In a yoga sequence
it is the point of departure and return for most of the standing asanas. In effect it
can be compared to the lying position of Savasana. Here the body is allowed to rest and centre in upright
Some schools dictate that the
feet should be touching, others that the feet should be a comfortable distance apart. On balance I prefer
to have the feet slightly apart so that the feet are just hip width apart. In this position the femurs
can sit in the hip socket and support the body above. Wherever the feet are placed however
it is important to be aware that the feet are well anchored in the ground. Spreading the toes, gripping
gently with the front balls, side and heel of each foot, feel the transverse and long arches of the foot gently rising as
you grip the ground. Think of standing on the beach on the edge of the sea and `rooting your feet into
the wet sand.
The legs should be straight
but not locked at the knees. They should be in a position of strength and ability to respond to challenges
of balance. The pelvis should feel horizontal, and like a wash basin holding water so that the water runs
from neither front nor back. The leaking point` is most likely to be at the front, so gently pull in the
lower abdomen and the pelvic floor to create a sense of lifting into the torso.
Lengthening the back by straightening up, feel the abdomen lengthen without the chest rising.
This can be felt by breathing into the Solar Plexus rather than the upper chest. Feel the ribcage
broaden rather than rise, and the sense of expanding across the back.
Allow the shoulders to rise and then roll back and down
allowing the arms to hang loose by the sides of the thighs. There should be no tension in the shoulders
or arms – unless the `stiff version` of this pose is being done for a specific purpose (see illustration).
The head should rise from the neck as though
you have a hook in the crown of the head drawing you up to the sky. This means you will feel a sense of
stretchha dn length in the back of the neck. Make the sure the chin does not tilt up. The
face should look straight ahead and with the chin slightly pulled in as though with a greater force you
would squeeze the Adams Apple in the throat.
with focus and awareness. It is a good simple balancing exercise to close your eyes and hold Tadasana for
a minute or longer being aware of the subtle constant reflex reactions in the ankles and legs.