Thursday, October 8, 2009

Simple Steps: #13 Mountain Pose

When practicing the physical limb of yoga called asana, the physicality of the postures becomes a vehicle to expand our consciousness and pervade every single aspect of the body.

Releasing ourselves to the flow, and observing the inner strength that one develops brings about a profound grounding spirituality in and through the body.

This allows our exploration of all aspects of our emotions, concentration, intent, faith, and unity between the physical and ethereal body.

Yogi B.K.S. Iyengar is credited with saying

"The needs of the body are the needs of the divine spirit which lives through the body. The yogi does not look heavenward to find God for he knows that He is within."

Referencing this intention to relate to your body as a sacred vessel, approach your practice today in whatever way this expresses itself through you.

I have adapted the following copy to illustrate proper technique from Yoga Journal while inviting you to my simple step at the end of the post.

Keeping both feet on the floor, stand with the bases of your big toes touching, heels slightly apart (so that your second toes are parallel). Lift and spread your toes and the balls of your feet, then lay them softly down on the floor. Rock back and forth and side to side. Gradually reduce this swaying to a standstill, with your weight balanced evenly on the feet.

Firm your thigh muscles and lift the knee caps, without hardening your lower belly. Lift the inner ankles to strengthen the inner arches, then imagine a line of energy all the way up 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. Turn the upper thighs slightly inward. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor and lift the pubis toward the navel.

Press your shoulder blades into your back, then widen them across and release them down your back. Without pushing your lower front ribs forward, lift the top of your sternum straight toward the ceiling. Widen your collarbones. Hang your arms beside the torso.

Balance the crown of your head directly over the center 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.

Tadasana (Mountain Pose) is usually the starting position for all the standing poses. But it's useful to practice Tadasana as a pose in itself. Stay in the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, breathing easily.

Once you feel strong and steady see if you can lift one leg and place it against the inner thigh of the opposite leg as in the photo above. Breathe through it!

Todays Simple Step

Practice being grounded in this posture given whatever variation you can accomplish.

Feel your ability to stand still and stay put! Plant your flag and keep breathing! If you fall from the pose notice your response. Do you give up immediately or simply refocus and try again?

"Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm"
said Abraham Lincoln adding
I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end."
May this be so for you.

This is today's simple step.

Till next time...


Photo credit: GCA by Bob Alba


Snake Charmer said...

I LOVE this pose! It makes me feel so empowered and connected! I am sooo glad I found your blog it's sooo awesome -I cannot wait to explore some more! :)

Yokibics said...

Happy to meet you Snake Charmer! And so glad to share the journey...