Tadasana for New Yogis
Come to the top of your mats and stand in Tadasana – Mountain Pose (demonstrate to give a general idea of the correct position). Tadasana is the foundation for standing poses – the actions you learn here will be repeated over and over throughout our practice. Place a block between your inner thighs. Your feet should be hip distance apart and parallel to the sides of your mat. Press down through all four corners of your feet. Lift your quadriceps – the front thigh muscles – as if you are trying to draw them upward toward your hips. This action secures the kneecap in place, protecting the knee joint from injury. Release your inner thighs to the back of the room – the block is there to help you feel this action, which opens up the sacral and lumbar areas of the spine (the low back). Draw the belly up and in, as if the abs were a rubber band stretching tightly from the front of your hipbones to your lower front ribs. Remember that firming your core muscles does not mean holding your breath! Continue to breathe slowly through your nose. Keeping your core strong will protect your lower back as well as build abdominal strength that you will need for more challenging poses. Lift your sternum, widen across the collarbones, and press your shoulder blades forward toward your chest. These actions help bring your shoulder into proper alignment and will reappear in every standing pose. Relax the tops of the shoulders away from the ears and find length through all sides of the neck. Arms hang loosely by your sides, palms forward. Inhale and grow taller, as if you could gain more length in your spine, feeling the spaces between each rib expand gently. Exhale and ground more firmly with your feet – strong as a mountain, unmovable, unshakable.