“Nothing lasting will ever be built on shaky foundations.” – YOGA ANATOMY by Leslie Kaminoff & Amy Matthews
Tadasana breaks down into two words TADA (Mountain) and ASANA (Posture).
The name of this pose evokes stability, strength and steadfastness. Healthy foundations, rooted into the earth as the the crown of the head reaches up to the sky. It’s an excellent posture for demonstrating the ability to turn a simple standing position into something that is very interactive and strong, a posture that can be breathed through.
There is an overall neutral extension in the entire body that is uniquely human. To my knowledge we are the only exclusively bipedal animals on the planet. To that extent we begin our look at Tadasana at Pada Bandha, the feet.
The feet are traditionally placed close together, big toes touching and heels slightly apart. If this is not available, keep the feet hip width distance apart with the toes facing forward. Open up the toes nice and wide and root down equally through the balls of the feet and the heels.
Keep the knees engaged, raising the quadriceps and spreading open the back of the knees. Draw up Mula Bandha, awakening the perineum or pelvic floor. Activate Udiyana Bandha by drawing the navel into the spine to help support the lower back and energetically lift the centre of the body, expanding the heart centre.
By rolling the shoulders away from the ears, melting the shoulder blades down the back and externally rotating the tops of the arms, the spine becomes long with the head above the heart and the heart above the pelvis. By lowering the chin into the throat, we activate Jalandara Bandha, opening up the back of the neck and creating Maha Bandha or the Master Lock with all 3 Bandhas engaged.
The hands face palms forward, take a deep breath in to extend the crown of the head to the heavens and on the exhale, root down equally through the feet allowing the energy to ground. The Drishdi or gaze is towards the nose.
Variations into Samasthiti can be considered with the hands in prayer in-front of the heart centre, pressing the thumbs and sternum together.