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Yoga Pose: Stand tall, stand strong

PHUKET: Hello and welcome. This month I would like to share another life-changing yoga asana, a pose that is often overlooked and deemed as a “bit of a time waster”.


By Kim White

Thursday 8 August 2013, 11:45AM


I admit that in the past I also did not advocate the practice of this asana as much as I do now. The asana we will be practising this month is known as the tadasana or mountain pose.

I think the words of wilderness advocate John Muir are an appropriate way to explain the importance of practising tadasana regularly:

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity...”.

Unfortunately our skeletons get a little neglected while we race around the urban wilderness of our everyday lives.

We stand with our weight bearing down on one leg and hip, we sit down and rest on one side, cross one leg, we carry with one shoulder, we walk too much on our toes or heels and I could go on and on but you get the picture.

We squash our spines down so much, it’s no wonder our bodies are crying out to stand tall.

When practised correctly, tadasana makes the body feel light and mind feel bright.

This asana also:

  • Improves posture

  • Strengthens thighs, knees and ankles

  • Firms abdomen and buttocks

  • Relieves sciatica

  • Reduces flat feet

  • Creates space within the body, allowing greater internal organ efficiency

  • Improve respiratory systems, opens the chest.

  • Increases awareness

  • Steadies breathing

  • Increases strength, power, and mobility in the feet, legs, and hips

  • Firms abdomen and buttocks

  • Relieves sciatica

  • Develops spinal strength and flexibility

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  • Relieves tension, aches and pains throughout the body

  • Improves blood circulation

  • Encourages healthy digestion

  • Leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated

  • Expels dullness and depression

  • Harmonises the body and mind

  • Increases energy and enthusiasm

Please follow these steps when practising tadasana and you will be standing taller in no time.

Stand with the bases of your big toes touching, spread your toes and have a firm grasp on the floor, making sure that your weight is balanced evenly on the feet. (If you have some balance issues, try standing with your feet about 3 to 5 inches apart.)

Activate your thigh muscles and lift the knee caps, without hardening your lower belly.

Imagine a piece of string suspending you from along your inner thighs to your groins and from there through the core of your torso, neck, and head, and out through the crown of your head. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor and lift the pelvis toward the belly button.

Next, roll your shoulder blades together and down your back, then widen the chest. Pull your belly button back to the spine; lift the top of your chest straight toward the ceiling. Widen your collarbones. Hang your arms beside the torso. Please see photos for variations that can be practised in tadasana.

Balance the crown of your head directly over the centre of your pelvis, with the underside of your chin parallel to the floor, throat soft, and the tongue wide and flat on the floor of your mouth. Soften your eyes. If you are confident and would like a challenge, practice tadasana with your eyes closed.

Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, keeping your awareness on your breath pattern.

This is a great posture to start any yoga practice with or a great pose to practice whenever you find yourself standing around and waiting for long periods of time. I am sure we are all familiar with occasions such as this.

Make your trek back to the mountain!

Metta,

Kim

 

Kim White is the owner of Sala Samadhi. She offers authentic Hatha yoga instruction for private and group sessions. Contact: www.mindbodyyogasystem.com or 086276 9174.

The opinions and advice contained in this column are those of the author only. The Phuket News is not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any situation

 

 

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