On Wednesday, I wrote about the importance of including Tadasana beyond the scope of your daily practice. While Tadasana is instructed differently across yoga traditions, in Yoga Tune Up®, the skull is balanced over the center of the ribcage, the ribcage is centered over the pelvis, and shoulders, arms and feet are neutrally oriented. The foundation of Tadasana is the stance: feet hip socket distance apart with all ten toes pointing directly forward. There is a slight engagement of Tubular Core, a corseting of abdominal and other torso muscles that support the spine—but not so much that you are braced as if you are picking up a heavy load. (This is a different action from the commonly directed “draw your navel in and up.”) You should be able to breathe easily even as your torso is supported.
Tadasana is a whole-body yoga pose, and the stronger and more flexible you become all over, the deeper the pose gets. Ultimately the posture is filled with grace and levity, which is why in Yoga Tune Up® we also call it Poise.
Focusing on Tadasana throughout my twin pregnancy kept my body from being adversely affected by the big load I was carrying and helped prepare me for the physical demands of motherhood. And it’s become even more important now that I have two heavy toddlers who regularly exclaim, “Mommy ho deow!” (Mommy hold me!)
Contract Relax breathing is very similar to Tubular Core. Learn how to breathe better in the video below!
Thank you for clarifying the tadasana
Thank for this post & video Gwen! We did this breathing technique in class today & it helped me be aware of my breathing patterns better. Thanks for breaking down & summarizing Tadasana in a simple way for us to understand easily 🙂
I love the use of the word grace to describe this pose which can be such a neglected, under appreciated moment during a yoga class.
To me, grace is the ability to make something look easy even when it is not which personally I think is part of what yoga is all about.
Many people are intimidated by yoga because they think that all poses have to go to the extreme or be pushed to a certain limit. Actually quite the opposite is true.
The old adage “less is more” truly is applicable here as being able to perform full split or move a leg behind the head doesn’t mean that you reach.a higher level of nirvana than your neighbor in class next to you who can’t achieve the same shape.
Thanks for giving us permission to just simply be…
Thank you for suggesting this breath practice for tadasana as a way to focus on this important posture.
I enjoy teaching tadasana in classes, this breath will add a new layer and dimension to practice. Namaste
Tadasana is often referred to as the blueprint pose for asana, but it’s rarely ever actually taught in class. If we are going to refer back to Tadasana as the blueprint pose for other poses, it’s nice to give a sensory experience of the pose for students to refer back to.
I’ve always enjoyed taking a few breaths in Tadasana, using it as a transition pose to “reset” during class. I think incorporating the contract/relax breathing technique will be a way to help students connect with their bodies and breath. Thank you for the article.
Thank you for your clear description and your story. Your description was clear and concise and very easy to put into practice.
Merci beaucoup! Cet article me permet de comprendre l’importance de cette pose et de l’alignements . Ce sont les fondations de la pratique du yoga que nous préparons lorsque que l’on fait: “The Poise” 😉
Très interessant pour la compréhension de nos elèves
Standing well in our bodies is how we move well in our bodies. Thank you for drawing attention to something so easily overlooked. Great instruction!
Glad you are bringing more attention to Tadasana. I feel like this is a pose that often gets overlooked in class and in daily life. I don’t think everyone always understands how much work it takes to do Tadasana correctly.
I can’t see how we as teachers, or in our own body know what is the correct amount of “slight engagement”? Some years ago I lost 100 lbs. After being overweight my whole life and having three full-term pregnancies, the abdomen I was left with after that weight loss was not what I was expecting! So I did ab classes and walked about constantly engaging my core. The result was a pelvic floor that became immovable and that is quite a problem. Then I spent years trying to STOP all that engaging. So what’s the right amount and how to assess that on a student in front of me without actually measuring that amount of engagement via internal bio-feedback? Thanks!
I appreciate your simple explanation of Tubular Core. I find myself defaulting to say, “draw your navel into your spine” and i intellectually and intuitively know that it isn’t the correct que for what i really want the student to do. First of all just learning the Tubular Core buzz phrase is exciting, and now i have a user friendly quick phrase to express what i want. Thanks!
Une pose qu’on prend trop souvent pour acquise,plus je pratique cette pose plus je ressent l’importance de celle-ci.
Merci beaucoup! Cet article me permet de comprendre l’importance de cette pose et de l’alignements des segments. Ce sont les fondations de la pratique du yoga que nous préparations lorsque que l’on fait: “The Poise”
So true! Recently, in my practice, I have been focusing on finding Tadasana in every movement. When I first started yoga, I, like many students, took Tadasana for granted and did not realize all the elements involved in building a strong foundation. As I continued to practice more, I noticed the importance of Tadasana. Tadasana provided me with an idea of what a stable foundation is – it creates support up through the legs, pelvis, spine, arms and head – all weight distributed evenly. Tadasana helped me find lightness as I became more attuned to the natural swaying of my body. Whether Im in Warrior I or Trikonasana, I seek to find that same lightness.
Très intéressant comme article ! Je commence ma formation en Yoga Tune Up et de prendre conscience, par la pratique du Tadasana, de l’emplacement de mon corps dans l’espace, de mon alignement corporel, est un challenge en soit ! Quelque chose qu’on croit acquis, qu’on croit bien faire, prend tout à coup une toute autre dimension !
Je sais déjà que ma posture ne sera plus jamais la même, du moins, seulement d’en prendre conscience est une première étape vers l’amélioration de la posture et part le fait même, de la santé en général !
Absolutely agree. Tadasana is an important based pose to see how well your body aligns and synchronize together. Many poses based on Tadasanasa manner. Improving the Tadasana alignment helps improve the function and mobilization of the over all body.
I couldn’t agree more. Tadasana is the foundation of all poses. Once I learned this from my teachers I became acutely aware of how I was holding myself up while off the mat too. It is something we can work on throughout our day. As a new teacher I will place strong emphasis on Tadasana. Standing with mindfulness
I have been fascinated with Jill’s emphasis on “poise” as we stand upright in Tadasana. It has made me review how I stabilize and hold my body in the upright positions…it makes me think beyond simply good posture, but the actual grace and balance in which one should hold their body, both as it stands and/or moves through space. Tadasana is so much more than “just standing”, and experiencing this fact truly does bring a certain levity and ease into the act of standing, in both Tadasana, as well as the line at the grocery store. I loved this article!
I love teaching Tadasana. Often people “prop” themselves too tight and rigid. “Poise” soften the grip yet remaining engaged fully. Thanks Amanda.
This and your previous post have made me realize I’d forgotten how important Tadasana is. Even though I teach it in every class, I’m realizing that I’ve been overlooking Tadasana’s importance as a foundation to carry into every single pose and daily activity. Thank you for reviving my appreciation of Tadasana.
I also enjoyed seeing this video about combining contract relax breathing with the contract relax ball rolling technique.
I Love the poise Tadasana! I take that pose/poise to my everyday activities, including sitting at a desk, just being mindful of breathing, posture alignment head over the shoulders, will greatly improve our everyday health, and breathing easier. Who knew? Just standing with mindfullness can add strength to your posture.
Tadasana is a pose that you can practice all the time. Every time you stop, you can work on your alignment. Constantly brining it in to awareness will make your baseline much healthier. I will be impressing the importance of this pose on my students.
Contracting around the “bubble of air” has made such a difference in my ability to stabilize my core. It is an action I can perform in any orientation to get immediate feedback to facilitate tubularizing the core. Thank you for posting.
I have been a yoga teacher for many years and Tadasana is a pose I teach in every class. With todays habits of texting and sitting for long periods of time our bodies have lost its sense of neutral.
This has become my baseline pose after 2 days of the training workshop. It has been helping me feel my core. Between giving birth to 2 children over 9 pounds, not exercising for many years, and various injuries getting my core back has been slow. This pose helps me root my feet and find my breath.
I don’t think students realize how important this pose it to their practice. This is a great way to demonstrate this “simple” pose.
Couldnt agree more! I always encourage my students to find tadasana and tubular core in activities of daily living.
Gwen, I completely agree. The more I teach and practice yoga, the more I recognise how vital a correctly aligned tadasana is as a foundation for other asana. Also, off the mat, the energy of tadasana flows through to how we hold ourselves in the world. It’s great to see it being taught in a variety of ways with a range of cues.
Tadasana pose taught in the Yoga Tune Up style teaches you to not only engage tubular core, but also to fire up and explore directions of movement in the legs. This in conjunction with contract relax breathing should keep you easily entertained while standing in that long line where ever you find yourself.
What a great focus on Tadasana. As a staple yoga pose, I think it often gets over looked, however finding a graceful and poised pose takes work, and muscles. I hope for teachers make tadasana more of a focus.