This week I had the pleasure of going to my daughters playschool and teaching the classes some yoga. I took poses and tried to make them fun for them. I started each class with Mountain Pose (Tadasana). I said "pretend you are the King or Queen of the mountain, stand strong"
Then I think I finally got this pose. In yoga we use it a lot for starting before other poses. It's the one we come back to, to reset to do the other side, or come into something else. But I think we take it for granted.
Physically this pose helps with posture, aligns the spinal column and energetically aligns the chakras. I took the chakra bit from my teacher, because I don't know much about them yet, but good info.
Mentally this posture I think does a variety of things. Stand up if you can right now. Stand with your spine straight and long, chin up and chest proud. Take a deep breath in and out. How do you feel? Better I presume? Even if you felt great before, I would bet you feel just a little bit better now. When standing still do you feel strong? Your body being held up by the strength of your feet, ankles and legs. Maybe even a little powerful? It takes confidence to stand straight and take up your space.
We start a lot of classes from this position. Rooting down through our feet. Strong legs to stand on, straight spine, open proud chest , shoulders relaxed away from the ears and reaching the top of our heads toward the sky.
A variation of this pose is to lift your arms over your head. I had the kids do this and pretend as if reaching for the clouds. Then bending over into forward fold (Uttanasana) and imagining running your fingers through the grass.
Try mountain pose again with this imagery in your head. Close your eyes and see the clouds. Bend and feel the soft green grass. So relaxing. Next time you're in class or practicing at home stop and take a moment to really tune into Mountain Pose instead of skipping over it waiting to get to the next posture. Let me know how it changes it for you.
Make the pose your own. If your body feels better with feet together, feet further apart, heels together, toes apart; then do it!