Stand Tall

Stand Tall

Do you sometimes feel like the world is going too fast? That you don’t know what your next step should be? I do. And I also know the perfect yoga posture to help, but it’s really hard. Not the posture. Anyone can do this posture. The difficulty is that you have to stand still when everything in your body says: go…even though you don’t know where to.

If you want to feel surer about yourself physically and mentally, then you just need to stand tall, or – in yoga terms – do Tadasana, the  mountain pose. This posture forms the basis of all standing postures like the tree . You build the mountain posture from the ground up. Begin by your feet which are standing parallel and at hip-width apart and feel the contact between your feet and the earth. Make sure your knees are not locked. Draw your abdominal muscles in slightly, elongate your spine and open your chest. Relax your shoulders; make sure that your neck is in the same line as your spine and the crown of your head is the highest point.

For the people who take my yoga and meditation classes, those sentences sound very familiar since we do it in every class. The mountain pose brings us in the moment. When your body is in alignment, you feel better all over.  Your muscles are in balance, your organs have room to function optimally and your breathing becomes deeper. You can do this posture throughout your day; for example, when you’re standing in a line. You can also do it sitting at your desk if you make sure your feet are firmly on the ground.

In Tadasana you have the opportunity to stop and become aware of your feelings.  You do it not only so that you come more aware of your physical body, but also of how you are standing in life right now. Are you standing in your power like a mountain? Do you feel strong and stable? How is your breathing?

And so you can see how a simple exercise like standing becomes yoga. When you come in contact with yourself, everything calms down. You get the chance to see things clearly and to feel more certainty about what your next step should be. So the next time you feel like you’re running in circles, stop and do the mountain pose.

  1. Stand with your feet parallel and hip-width apart.
  2. Distribute your weight evenly over both your feet.
  3. Make sure your knees are soft, slightly bent.
  4. Engage your pelvic floor muscles and draw your navel in towards your spine.
  5. Open your chest by lifting your sternum upwards.
  6. Relax your shoulders and allow your arms to rest along your sides.
  7. Bring your chin slightly inwards so that your head is in alignment with your spine.
  8. Stretch the crown of your head up to lengthen your spine.

Be conscious of the fact that you are standing firmly on the earth. Feel the strength in your legs. Enjoy the stillness in your body. Become aware of your breathing and of the sounds that come and go. Become the observer of your body and mind, and know that you can make your next step with confidence

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