Hi folks! I am starting a little series called “This is Yoga” and I would love love LOVE it if you played along!! I’ll be posting daily the individual poses that make up a sun salutation and not only explain proper alignment via short videos but also describe the various benefits each pose has!
This is an attempt to answer a very good question by a dear friend when she stumped me with a simple inquiry of, “Why is yoga good for me?”. Yoga is such a dynamic practice. What is good for one person may not have the same benefit for another. You see, everyone comes to their mat for different reasons. It can be a purely physical practice and for some it is 100% a spiritual journey. Maybe yoga is your special time that you devote only to yourself or maybe it is how you build your community. It could be all these things and so much more!
As I explained before, there are eight limbs of yoga and in this first series I will be focusing mainly on the asana limb of yoga. Asana is translated to posture or pose and it is the limb of yoga we Westerners tend to focus on and it is a great way to introduce you into the yoga world.
Unfortunately, yoga has become a thing for many to fear. There is a misconception that to be a true yogi, you need to be a super bendy, teeny tiny, spandex clad super vegan and that is simply NOT true. Yogis come in all shapes and sizes and have a wide spectrum of ability. Trust me, no one starts with their legs behind their head and upside down. Many never achieve this in their lifetime and it doesn’t matter! Being present in the moment and connecting with your breath is yoga. It can be complicated, yes – but it can also be breathtakingly simple.
The first asana that I am going to focus on is Tadasana, also known as Mountain Pose. Not only is this the first pose of the primary series of the Sun Salutation, it is also the first pose we has bi-ped humans learn before we toddle. As babies, we had to grasp the mechanics of standing on two feet before we could take our first step, which leads to running and jumping and all sorts of fun things we can do on two feet. Similarly, in yoga, we use properties of Mountain Pose while doing any other standing pose in yoga. It is the foundation to all standing poses and when done correctly and with intention, can reap so many more benefits than what you can imagine just standing on two feet could do!
I encourage you to try this pose and hold it for 30 seconds to a minute. Take notice of any changes in your body and thought patterns and be gracious with yourself if you do not notice any difference. The truly remarkable thing about yoga, is that you gain the benefits each pose offers even if you are merely focusing on one aspect of the pose. It’s a sneaky one, this yoga!!
Benefits of Tadasana:
- Improves posture
- Strengthens thighs, knees, and ankles
- Firms abdomen and buttocks
- Relieves sciatica
- Reduces flat feet
- Calms and clears your mind and nervous system.
- Improves blood circulation and digestion
And one of my favorite benefits is the ability to ground ourselves, connecting with the earth and finding stability! Something that I find very nourishing and SO IMPORTANT in my everyday busy life.
I’d love to hear your experience with this pose – either comment below or email me with any questions or comments you have. For me, yoga is all about community and YOU are a big part of my community and I would love to connect more with you.
Warmest of love and Namaste!