How grounded is your mountain?

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As I step onto my yoga mat I pause for just a moment. Gathering my thoughts and breath. Before beginning my practice I like to take time with my very first posture. It will be this first posture that will set the intention of my whole practice and also of my day ahead.

As I step to the front of my mat I place my feet in union side by side. Gently lifting my toes and releasing them to the earth one at a time. Watching them connect with the ground beneath me. As I begin to shift my weight forward and backwards or from my heals to my toes I begin to surrender to the gentle sway of my movements. Closing my eyes and allowing my breath to guide not only me but my whole body as well.

As I root my feet into the earth I open my eyes and slowly observe my Tadasna/Standing/Mountain Pose. With the first inhale I slowly allow my spine to grow tall towards the sky. As I slowly exhale my shoulders begin to melt down my spine finding its natural place or position within the body. With the next breath I broaden across my chest letting my heart center open to whatever it may receive.

Like a building block that fits perfectly one on top of the other my body begins to stack itself the same way forming a strong yet gentle standing position. Each part being supported by the other. Finding steadiness from the ground up. My hands join in prayer position in front of my heart. My head elegantly lifts from the base of my skull.

My inhale begins to fill from my toes all the way up to the crown of my head growing tall each time and as I exhale I can feel my breath releasing back down to my toes without any tightness. My Tadasana will set the flow of my practice here on this mat and off the mat. How I approach my first posture will reflect my approach towards the rest of my day.

The practice of yoga on the mat is essential to understanding how we practice the 'yoga of life'. No matter what my first posture is I connect and surrender to the many sensations, feelings or  energy that may be vibrating within my body, mind and heart. As I wake up each morning I no longer jump out of bed like I used to. Now the moment my feet touch the cool marble floor I begin to connect with my breathing. I savor each moment and observe the energy or emotions within me.

Tadasna is a wonderful posture to be in. It is elegant, beautiful and works wonders on one's posture and  stimulates the whole nervous system. Encourages us to focus on our balance of life.

"Mountain pose teaches us, literally, how to stand on our own two feet

Teaching us to root ourselves into the earth

Our bodies become a connection between heaven and earth"

Carol Krucoff