More Than Just Standing: The Power Of Tadasana
At first glance, Tadasana appears simplistic and effortless. But if we take a look deeper into this pose, we find it’s a strengthening foundational pose with therapeutic benefits. Tadasana is a common transitional pose, starting pose, or even a resting pose. While those are all great uses, I find Tadasana to be a powerful pose for self-exploration.
When meeting a private yoga client for the first time, I’ll often observe them first in Tadasana. This is because this pose reveals our body’s natural tendencies, misalignments, and imbalances. This is why I refer to it as a pose for self-exploration. Do you want to know where you carry your weight? If you favor your right side over your left? Curious if your pelvis has an anterior or posterior tilt? How about your feet?
All of these, and more, can be discovered by coming into Tadasana, staying there a while, and observing. Observe your natural tendencies or habits.
I approach all poses from three aspects: physical, mental, and energetic. Let’s look at Tadasana from those three aspects.
Alignment (physical aspect)
- Come to standing, feet hip width apart (or big toes touching if you prefer), gaze softly ahead.
- Feel the whole surface of both feet on the earth.
- Engage your thighs (without locking knees).
- Notice your pelvis-bring your pelvis to neutral. If you’re unsure what neutral would feel like, try placing your hands on your hips and tilt your pelvis forward causing a sway in the low back. Then tilt your pelvis back causing your low back to round and chest to drop. Now find your neutral. Sometimes experiencing two extremes allows us to find our place of balance.
- From there, allow your arms to actively rest at your sides, palms facing forward.
- Softly draw your navel in towards your spine.
- Draw your shoulder blades together and down your spine creating opening and widening in the collarbones.
- Without pushing your lower ribs forward, lift gently your sternum.
- Allow the crown of your head to feel as if it’s floating over your pelvis.
- From this active place, find balance and strength.
Awareness (mind aspect)
Once you find all your subtle adjustments and balance in this pose, bring your awareness to the bottoms of your feet. Can your feel the whole surface of your feet on the earth? Do you notice your arches? Just notice how you’re standing and where your weight is on your feet.
Allow this awareness to travel up through your calves, thighs, hips, etc. With your awareness just observe with non-judgement or inquiry. Just observe your natural tendencies. Where do you carry stress? Does a body part ache? Feel strong? Do both sides of your body feel balanced? Allow your awareness to travel from feet to the crown of your head learning your own body and how you move through the world.
Energy (energetic aspect)
With the same process as our awareness exploration, begin to observe the energy within and around your body. Can you feel an energy exchange between your feet and the earth? Do you feel a pulsing in your legs, palms, temples? Close your eyes and begin to attune to your energy field. Do you feel sluggish? Energetic? Can you feel a draining of energy? Use Tadasana, with eyes closed, to explore energy within and around your body. Begin to learn how energy runs through your body. We can’t begin to correct energetic imbalances, or any type of imbalance, if we don’t first have knowledge or awareness of them to begin with.
Tadasana is a beautiful and powerful teacher. Without judgement, shame, or ridicule it teaches us about ourselves. Tadasana is a mirror for us to observe and witness how we move within our body temple. This reflection allows us to correct any imbalances so we are freer, balanced, and stronger within our sacred temple.
Have you made a self-discovery in a pose? Share it with us here in the comments below!