Second only to Savasana (which we will talk about tomorrow) and tied closely with yoga breathing, Tadasana, or Mountain pose, was the yoga posture I least understood until I went through yoga teacher training.
In almost every practice, I bring my students into a strong and calm Mountain.
It is an important posture and it’s applicability to daily life is irreplaceable. Mountain is more than merely standing in one place, upright with the head above the heart. In life, Mountain represents more than complacency as life flows past you or storms begin to brew around you. There is more to Mountain than just showing up-
Mountain is ACTIVE and STRONG! This is an intentional posture held with conviction and engagement!
Feel free to get up and actually FEEL the strength of this posture- Really, no matter what you are doing just try to see the difference in your body-
Come on, don’t be shy! You can totally do this
Try to engage your entire core! Come to a seated or a standing position. Focus on opening your chest by pushing your shoulder blades into your spine. Your chest WILL open- before anything else, ask yourself if this feels awkward or unsettling to you? Don’t worry about judging if it does or does not- just notice!
With your shoulders pulled back, your chest open- notice what happens to your head. Your neck becomes more neutral with all this power engaged in your upper back, shoulders and chest.
Now, engage your ab muscles by pulling them in towards your tailbone and at the same time tuck your tailbone under. I tell people to consider that they are trying to squeeze into a pair of jeans that is 2 sizes too small. Now hold this strength for a few moments.
Okay, relax your shoulders, your chest and your neck; Can you feel a difference in the strength of your body? From the outside there may not be that big of a difference in HOW the posture looks but from the inside, there is a HUGE difference in how the posture should FEEL! When your shoulders are set and square you are setting the stage for all over strength. When your core is engaged, you have access to ALL of the strength your body physically can offer.
This practice translates into every little thing you might do in life as well. When you are determined and dedicated to your task, you can open up and shoulder whatever challenge or burden that you might be required to bear.
This is yoga according to Treisha- but it seems to be pretty true in my life, so it might be true for you: (There is no mistake in this list, they are numbered in order of importance rather than in numerically)
2. Your head is held high, determined to move forward. You don’t have to confident in your ability to succeed, just confident in your ability to TRY
1. Squared shoulders open your chest, making room for your heart to expand! There is a very unique power that we access when our heart is our guide (a topic for later too). Not only do access strength, but we engage emotion- this truly is the secret to ‘Joy in the Journey’
4. Shoulders and hips are active and engaged! First of all, this builds our frame and sets us up to be present in life. Second of all, IMHO, strong shoulders access or physical strength; solid and square hips access our emotional strength.
3. Strong and engaged CORE! This part of Mountain represents everything you believe in, your CORE VALUES, ideals, dreams, and hopes! This is who you are when you break everything down. Though I think this is the MOST important, I think that if we haven’t got our head in the game and haven’t got our heart and soul in the matter, our core can’t be strong.
*** These three are the power house of yoga and life. In anything you do in life, try, try, TRY to access these three and you WILL see powerful results no matter what your strengths, weaknesses, or training is!
5. Rooted feet–> this is a representation of standing firm to items 1-3! This is staying true to who you are, where you belong, and more importantly where you are going! A person solidly rooted might sway and maybe even fall, but they will ALWAYS know how to get back up and move onward and upward.
6. Knees- Square hips and solid feet give strength and stability to weak knees. You might fall, but you won’t crumble; you will know when to bow down in humility but you won’t be forced to succumb to the pressures of life as they mount.
I LOVE Mountain- take a few moments today to love it too! Rather than standing around, waiting for life to happen- stand tall and take a stand; be firm and rooted, committed to the YOU you always knew you could be!
Daily Journal Challenge:
- Count your blessings- 1 for each body part strengthened in Mountain. Now do it again!
- Define YOUR core values! Identifying your blessings is ONE really good way to discover what is important to you. If only for today, stick to those tasks that keep you centered on your core, YOUR priorities- YOUR YOU!
- 1 pound Sugar Snap Peas, with the little ends cut off if desired
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- Butter- to taste
- Salt- to taste
- Bring a small amount of water to a boil. Add the sugar snap peas and cook for approximately 4 minutes (these are beautiful AND tasty al dente, if you like veggies a little less crisp, cook for 6 minutes)
- Drain water. Add butter, salt, juice and zest of orange.