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Focus on Asanas – October: Standing Poses, Tadasana

This month we begin a new blog series – we’ll be featuring one group of poses(asanas) each month. We’ll discuss how to do each asana and the benefits they offer. Each weekday in October, we will discuss a different standing pose. Be sure to check facebook and twitter too – we’ll be including additional information about the featured poses there.

As October marks the beginning of fall (and the colder months) we are featuring standing poses- they are invigorating, they refresh the body, and they improve circulation and breathing. In short, they warm you up.┬áWe will discuss five poses: Tadasana, Utthita Trikonasana, Parivrtta Trikonasana, Utthita Parsvaknasana and Parivrtta Parsvaknasana. Today, we start with the foundation of all standing poses – Tadasana.

Tadasana – Mountain Pose

Tadasana is the asana that teaches the principles that all other standing poses are based on. As the name suggests, the pose requests of you a base that is as firm as rock. More than that, however, Tadasana teaches balance and evenness and can often make you feel empowered and strong.

Doing the pose:

1. Stand tall with your feet together, heels and big toes touching. Stretch your toes flat on the floor.

2. Pull your kneecaps up, contract your hips and lift your thighbones and calves.

3. Distribute your weight evenly across the front and back of the foot.

4. Point your fingertips toward the floor and turn the upper arms out.

5. Lift your diaphragm and ribcage. Broaden your shoulders and move your shoulder blades down your back.

Benefits:

As previously mentioned, Tadasana teaches you the basic techniques required in most other standing poses. Pay close attention to your feet – make sure your ankles are straight and you are not favoring either the inside or outside – this awareness will help you throughout your practice. As you move through other standing poses, you’ll always begin in tadasana, as it prepares and invigorates your body for the rest of the standing work.

For further directions on Tadasana and pictures of the pose, check out the Yoga Journal’s pose guide.