Strong as a Mountain – Tadasana Yoga
Yoga is the systematic practice of enabling your body to master different postures in order to gain maximum benefits at a physical, mental, and spiritual level. This wonderful science is native to India and was initiated by the revered sage Patanjali in about 400 C.E. Yoga encompasses various postures, each of which provides benefits to distinct parts of the human body. Today, there are modern schools of yoga which have mushroomed around the world. However, the purest form is still practised and maintained in India.
What is Tadasana Yoga?
Tadasana yoga, better known as the mountain pose, is about positioning your body in a manner that makes you aware of your body parts to strike a balanced pose. Derived from two Sanskrit words: tada and asana, which means mountain and pose, respectively, has made this yoga popular as the mountain pose. It forms the premise for other yoga positions, which include the warrior and tree poses.
Different yoga teachers furnish guidelines to students based on their own knowledge and experience. Some ask individuals to keep their feet together while striking the posture. Some other teachers advise their students to keep their feet at a distance equivalent to the distance between their hips. Some yoga schools consider teaching this mountain pose without the support of a wall. There are others which allow the same, at least for first-timers, until they are able to balance well without any back support. Many professional experts who guide their students to imagine a ray of energy that travels from the soles of their feet, through the inner region of their thighs and lower back, and finally makes an exit through the crown of the head. This has proved to be quite beneficial as it helps practising individuals to maintain their bodies straight without bending forwards or backwards throughout the session. There are several individuals who like to practise tadasana with their eyes closed, while many choose to practise it with their eyes open. Both these actions are subjective and not mandatory.
Tadasana Yoga Benefits
Practising Tadasana yoga benefits the body in many ways. The total number of tadasana yoga steps varies among teachers and could be anywhere between 7-11 steps. Practising these simple steps will help you avail its many wonderful benefits, some of which are listed below:
- Improves your body balance – This means your tendency to balance yourself will improve. It enhances your strength, and you learn to balance your body to perfection.
- Several individuals tend to develop a hunchback early in life because of their bad sitting habits. They slouch, which makes them look dull and tired. Practising tadasana yoga improves your posture and helps increase the strength of your spine.
- It has been proven to be extremely helpful in individuals suffering from Parkinson’s. Many individuals with Parkinson’s have experienced increased physical wellness and an improved posture after practising Tadasana yoga.
- This asana has proved to better the overall ability of a person by increasing their bodily strength.
- Individuals who suffer from Ankylosing spondylitis have benefitted immensely from practising Tadasana yoga. Many have experienced their body becoming more supple and their posture becoming increasingly better.
- The mountain pose stimulates the circulation of blood throughout your body.
- Tadasana yoga involves maintaining a perfect posture. Since the practice involves standing, it relieves sciatica pain.
- This yoga boosts your energy levels. You feel more lively and energetic. It also tones the core muscles of your body.
Tadasana Yoga Steps
The tadasana yoga steps are simple and easy to practise. Given below are the details of the simple steps which should be followed carefully.
- Stand straight with your feet aligned in a manner that the base of your big toes touch.
- Try to focus on an object that lies ahead. This will help you concentrate better. This is known as dhristi in Sanskrit.
- Inhale deeply.
- Focus on your quadriceps (muscles that cover the sides and front of the thighs) and use them in a manner that allows your tailbone to stretch and your kneecaps to get raised. Try to align your shoulder blades with your hips.
- Hold your head straight, as if raised towards the ceiling and allow your sternum to stretch gently. Do not allow your lower ribs to lean forward. Let your arms rest on the sides of your body but keep your palms open and in an upward position. Alternately, you can fold your hands in front of your chest in the Anjali mudra, namely the prayer posture.
- Allow your collar bones to stretch, and let your shoulders be well aligned with your pelvic region.
- Let your neck be firm and upright, and don’t let your chin droop downwards.
- Lift your shoulders towards your ears firmly but gently, and then slowly lower them. Exhale as you lower your shoulders.
You can find many professional yoga school websites which provide you with a host of tadasana yoga images which detail the exact postures and other details.
Mountain Pose Tadasana Yoga
The mountain pose tadasana yoga can be practised at least 2-3 times in a session. You can increase the number as soon as you gain more confidence and are comfortable with practising it a couple of times. Once you are able to perform the asana with ease, you can practise it for about 15 seconds. You can also practise it a couple of times during the day. Tadasana yoga in Hindi goes by the same pronunciation as Hindi words have their roots in the Sanskrit language.
Mountain pose variations:
You can find various images of tadasana yoga on the websites of professional yoga-teaching schools. You can browse through these and get an insight into the finer aspects of this posture. Tadasana yoga involves a couple of interesting variations in addition to the traditional straight posture. These are as follows:
- Tadasana Namaskar or Mountain with hands in a prayer posture – You fold your hands like you do when praying in front of your chest. Your feet are pointed outwards, and your toes are slightly raised.
- Viparita Namaskar – This is known as the reverse prayer mountain because you perform the same prayer posture but behind your back. Your feet are pointed outwards to help you maintain a good balance.
- Baddha Hasta – You stretch your hands above your head and interlock your fingers
- Urdhva Hastasana – A variation of the original traditional posture, but you raise your hands and stretch them to a comfortable extent
- Urdhva Baddha Hastana – This is also an extended version of the original tadasana posture. This involves folding your arms above your head and interlocking your fingers above the head.
What are the Disadvantages of Tadasana?
Though Tadasana has a myriad of benefits to offer, there are some disadvantages of the mountain posture as well. These are as follows:
- This posture tends to impact the leg muscles. You may experience a pull in these muscles because of standing for long.
- In some individuals, it may produce a lot of pain in the knees.
What are the Dos and Don’ts of Tadasana?
You have to observe some rules while practising this yogic posture. Some of the these include the following:
- Practise this yoga posture if you enjoy good sleeping patterns
- You can do the mountain pose dedicatedly if you are free of blood pressure issues
- Avoid practising the tadasana posture if you are an insomniac
- If you have a history of headaches, do not practise this asana
- Avoid practising tadasana if you have low blood pressure
- Pregnant women should not practise this asana
- Do not overdo the practice out of sheer excitement
Sanskrit Name for Mountain Pose
In Sanskrit, the mountain pose is termed Tadasana. This Sanskrit name is used much more popularly than its English counterpart.
Tadasana yoga is known to produce many benefits to the human body and mind if practised in accordance with the guidelines of yoga teachers. You can avail of the best tadasana yoga information only from authentic practitioners as they guide their students in the larger interests of their well-being. You can refer to tadasana yoga journals and try to enhance your knowledge of this ancient subject.
How many times should we do Tadasana in a day?
You can do it 2-3 times, with each session lasting for about 10-20 seconds. You can practise it for a maximum of ten sessions as long as you do not experience any discomfort while practising it.
What is the best time to do Tadasana?
There are no fixed rules about the timings for the practice of Tadasana. However, if you plan to continue with other asanas after practising tadasana, then it is mandatory to keep a gap of at least 4-6 hours after meals before you practise it.
What is Tadasana in yoga exercise?
It involves the alignment and balance of your body in a manner that helps you focus on your posture. It involves inhaling when you raise your limbs in an upward motion and exhaling when you lower them. It strengthens your back and spine, enhances your mental and physical being and improves your overall health.
Who should not do tadasana?
- Individuals who have irregular sleeping habits
- Anyone who has low blood pressure
- Individuals with a history of migraines or headaches
- Expectant mothers
- Anyone who feels dizzy by raising their feet or extending their arms overhead
What are the precautions of Tadasana?
- If a person practising tadasana maintains the posture for too long, it may cause a dizzying feeling in them because the person’s blood pressure gets lowered.
- Pregnant women should exercise caution and not overstretch. They should also practise only as long as they are comfortable, even if it means reducing the duration of the posture.
- Expectant mothers should avoid practising this pose if they feel a slight pull in their muscles or feel their arms getting strained.