Tadasana

"Ground down, to grow tall."

English: Mountain Pose

Level: Beginner

Position: Standing

Type: Balance

Muscles:

  • Feet
  • Ankles

Chakras:

  • Sacral Chakra (Swadisthana Chakra)
  • Root Chakra (Muladhara Chakra)

Tadasana is often seen as a "easy" pose. Many times, you'll begin a class standing in Tadanasa, and the only cue you'll get is "starting in Tadasana." However, as the foundation of all standing poses, Tadasana is anything but easy. Done correctly, Tadanasa engages all the muscles required for balance.


To Get into This Pose:

  1. Stand with big toes touching, heels separated, so that your feet are parallel to the edges of your mat
  2. Ground down through all 4 corners of the foot, distributing the weight evenly over both feet
  3. Unlock the knees
  4. Grip the mat with your toes
  5. Lengthen the spine through the crown of the head, chin parallel to the floor
  6. Hands are at your sides, palms facing outward, fingers outstretched
  7. Roll the shoulders back and down away from the ears
  8. Engage the abdominal muscles, taking the sway out of the lower back

Modification

Wide Feet

It may be uncomfortable to stand with the feet so close to one another, or perhaps your sense of balance may not permit you to keep the feet together. Stand as in Tadasana, but with feet hip width apart.


Variations

1. Samasthiti

Stand as in Tadasana, but with hands in prayer position.

Purpose: This is often the pose used in Sun Salutations.

2. Urdhva Hastasana (Volcano Pose)

Stand as in Tadasana, but with arms above the head, hands touching, head looking upward.

Purpose: This pose is used in Sun Salutations.

3. Urdhva Hastotanasana (Palm Tree Pose)

Stand as in Tadasana, but with hands above the head, fingers interlaced, palms facing upward

Purpose: This pose is great for stretching the arms, hands, and fingers

4. Utthita Tadasana (5 Pointed Star Pose)

Open the arms out into a "T." Open the feet wide, toes pointed forward

Purpose: Strengthen shoulders, open the chest, open the hips, prepare for wide-legged forward fold.

5. Tadasana Gomukhasana (Standing Cow Face Pose)

Stand as in Tadasana, but with arms in the "cow face" pose. Reach one arm up, and bend the elbow, bringing the hand to touch the back. Reach the opposite arm down, bend the elbow, bringing the hand behind the back. Reach the hands toward one another and clasp them together.

Modify: If your hands cannot reach one another, hold a strap in the upper hand and clasp it with the lower hand. Walk the lower hand upward as far as comfortable while still providing a stretch.

Purpose: This pose is great for stretching the shoulders, deltoids, and triceps.

6. Tadasana Paschima Buddha Hastasana (Back Bound Hands Pose)

Stand as in Tadasana. Bend the elbows, bringing both hands behind the back. Walk the hands across the back until they are clasping the opposite elbows.

Purpose: A gentler way to stretch deltoids and shoulders than Cow Face or Reverse Prayer arms.

7. Tadasana Paschima Namaskarasana (Standing Reverse Prayer Pose)

Stand as in Tadasana. Bring the hands behind the back, palms touching one another.

Modify: The full expression of this pose requires great flexibility in the anterior deltoids, wrists, and elbows. Each of the steps below will bring you closer to the full expression.

1. Bring the fingers to touch. 2. Bring fingers to touch, walking the fingers up the back. 3. Bring the outside of the hands (pinky side) to touch, with palms open. 4. With pinky-sides touching, bring the shoulder blades to touch, opening the chest and closing the hands.