Welcome to a new series brought to you by the MSY teachers! Each of our teachers offer a different flavor to their classes and when a student (as we are all students) are working on different postures-it can be nice to get a few perspectives to feel reassurance we are moving in the correct direction.
This round-table is set-up for anyone to read and gain a better understanding of a posture-whether you use it at home or in a class. I recommend you read each teacher’s description and try to feel what each teacher is communicating. Maybe it reaffirms the work you’re putting in-maybe it helps clarify a question you have within a posture.
This week’s question: ‘Whats the first thing you look at or tip you like to give or even the first thing that comes to mind in Tadasana or Mountain Pose?‘
David: Lengthen up and slightly forward through the crown of the head, so that the weight of the body rests evenly onto the 4 corners of each foot. Or, ground down into the four corners of each foot while lifting up the ‘domes’ of the body-the arches of the feet, the pelvic and respiratory diaphragms and the dome of the skull/crown of the head.
Lisa: After rooting through the feet, lift the toes. With toes lifted the thighs subtly engage. Relax the toes, but keep the engagement in the thighs to feel strengths through the whole lower body.
Brittany: Lengthen the spine, draw the shoulders away from the ears and tuck the rib cage. Slight exterior rotation in the thighs and evenly distribute the weight in the feet.
Pam: I think of this pose as solid and strong like a mountain. Grounded at all four corners of the feet, lifting and spreading all the toes wide, lowering the big toe, following through with the rest, tucking the tailbone, core engaged, chest lifted, shoulders rolled back away from the ears, head and neck held high, pretending as though there’s a ripe piece of grapefruit between your neck and chin and you wish to hold it there firmly-as if not to squish it.
Olivia: First thing I look for is a slight bend in the knees, strong core, and relaxed shoulders. This pose is more active than you think!
Jenny: Its not so much what they look like to me as guiding their awareness into the feet, feeling the big toe mound, little toe mound and inner and outer heel. Rooting, grounding then building upward.
Nell: Mountain is a great one for the student to really cultivate the sensation of pressing down with lower body to feel support of the earth and at the same time pressing up with the whole body to take up space they are meant to take up.
Sarah: Lifting through the heart-space and reaching down through the fingers and feeling the powerful surge of prana. I feel it is so so so big in that posture that to the untrained eye can look like ‘just standing there’….bringing the awareness and presence to the subtle body is easier in this posture that doesn’t ‘feel’ like as much work as more complex asana.
Karen: Ground down through all four corners of the feet. Spread the toes wide. Hug in towards your midline. Tilt your pelvic floor upward as you engage your abdomen. Lengthen through your side bodies, drop your shoulders down your back. Rotate your pinkies inward as you spread your fingers nice and wide reaching the crown of your head to the ceiling.
Carmen: Learning how to engage your transverse abdominis in tadasana will help you throughout so many postures like Warrior 2 and downward-facing dog. Take one index finger and place it on your pubic bone and the other index finger place on your tailbone. Level those two places so they make a straight line running parallel to the floor (feel free to look in a mirror). You should feel a sensation above the pubic bone and below the navel-similar to the sensation of zipping up your jeans. That is your transverse abdominis engaging. It will help ground your pelvis and create core-engagement and length in your torso.
Please leave any questions or comments below!