Next time you are in yoga class and you are asked to stand firm in tadasana (mountain pose), consider this: Do you embody the qualities of a mountain? A mountain is firm, with a wide base, grounded, and immovable. When we embody the qualities of a mountain we stand strong; we rise above. When trouble comes our way we are firm and immovable. We look down upon adversity. We are steadfast and exist wholly in ourselves. We are rooted and grounded to the earth and yet reach for the heavens.. existing in both planes.
Tadasana may seem like a simple starting pose, but it is an important pose for creating strength and stability. Done correctly it will improve balance and posture. When practiced often it will reduce back pain and strengthen the thighs, abdomen, knees, and glutes.
This is a script that I wrote for Mountain Pose:
Stand tall with the big toes touching and the heels slightly separated. (If you need a little more stability, keep the feet a few inches apart). Take a look down at your feet for a moment. Lift your toes. Feel the four corners of each foot (two in the ball of the foot and two in the heel). Spread your toes wide and try to set your toes down, one at a time, starting with the pinky toe. Maintain that equality in the feet (pressure into the four corners of each foot). Lift the inner ankles and knee caps and firm the thigh muscles. Press the chins / calves forward. Thighs lifting off of the knee joints. Lengthen the tail-bone down toward the floor. Let your arms lengthen down along your sides, with the palms facing forward. Pull the shoulders down the back and spread the should blades wide. Lift through the sternum and widen the collarbones. Lift the back ribs, as you soften the front ribs. Crown of the head lifting, drop the chin down ever so slightly. Pull energy up through the feet and let it radiate out through the crown of the head while staying rooted and grounded to the earth. Gaze (Dristhi) to the tip of the nose. For a challenge, close your eyes.