On Wednesday I suggested Tadasana as the new resting pose for any movement practice. Tune up your Tadasana with these go-to YTU techniques!

First, bring your feet into sensational grounding by rolling out with a grippy and pliable Yoga Tune Up® therapy ball. For an example of foot rolling, read Tricks & Treats For Your “Feets”.

Follow your foot fluffing by tuning up with a YTU Tadasana variation I like to call the XP Connection.

The XP connection creates a stronger connection between the ribs and pelvis in Tadasana.

The XP connection creates a stronger connection between the ribs and pelvis in Tadasana.

To find the XP Connection, come into Tadasana (see photo A).  Find the bottom tip of the sternum, called the xyphoid process, with your fingers and the pubic symphysis, the point where the two halves of your pubic bone come together, with your other hand (see photo B).  Try moving these two bony landmarks away from each other by lifting the sternum, retracting the scapula and anterior tilting the pelvis and notice if this causes the bottom ribs jut out and the tailbone to turn out behind you.  This position turns off your abdominals and shortens the tissues on the back body, including the quadratus lumborum, longissimus, iliocostalis, and erector spinae.

Proper alignment with the XP connection will allow all of the muscles that wrap and sleeve the center to stabilize the spine, including rectus abdominus, internal and external obliques and the transverse abdominius. Release your hands while maintaining this connection.  Add a gentle external rotation of the arm bones (without rib movement) and press the back of your head into an imaginary car seat to bring the skull into alignment on top of the shoulders. This helps the commonly tense upper back muscles, trapezius and levator scapulae to soften, offering relief from daily movement patterns that can cause shoulder shrugging, slouching and pain or discomfort. Common issues seen in Tadasana, such as rib thrusting or over-emphasizing tucking the tail under are also alleviated through the balancing of the XP Connection.

Use the XP Connection everywhere, from waiting in line to checkout at the grocery store and to advanced poses in your yoga class. Once embodied, this connection can help relieve lower back discomfort and trains your core musculature to stabilize the spine while standing, which can then be progressed to movements.

Experience how Tadasana can relieve tension in front of the body and allows the extensors of the back body to hold you upright against gravity through the posterior chain. Use Tadasana to create poise in your practice and to steady your nervous system by focusing towards meditative awareness and grounding. The next time you need a break, stand in Tadasana and become a practitioner of focused relaxation and discovery.


If you liked this article, read Fix Your Posture, Fix Your Knees

Fluff your feet with YTU Quickfix for Feet & Ankles.

Build better core stability with Coregeous.

Holli is an Integrated Yoga Tune Up® Teacher and Therapy Ball Practitioner Trainer. She leads students to embody healthy movement and increased awareness in all daily activities through self-care. Playful, energetic and spiritual, Holli infuses yoga classes with corrective exercise, self massage and deep relaxation. With over 500 hours of in-depth yoga and anatomy studies, she leads yoga and Yoga Tune Up® Classes, Workshops, Trainings and Retreats in Southern California through YogaWorks, Equinox, independent studios and in her private practice HOLLIYOGA. As a mom, wife, dog lover and yogi, Holli brings a joyful and practical perspective with a dash of humor and spirituality that will keep you inspired, informed and engaged.

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Ella Maghen

Thank you for this!! It is one of the best Q’s I utilize as I practice Tadasana. Especially enlarging the PS and XP with taking two YTU balls and placing them respectively

Jon Connelly

The image helped me to set this pose up and get myself well aligned. I took a few breaths once in the pose, and I certainly feel a nice re-set of my spine, core, and obliques.

Jon Connelly

The image really helped me visualize and implement this. I took a few deep breaths once in the proper XP position and tried to “re-set”. Felt great!

Sun Kim

XP stands for Xyphoid process & Pubic symphysis!!! I love the anatomical naming & cue of YTU poses – because it’s more direct & intuitive. Wish I had a chance to experience this XP connection myself during my YTU L1 training! Thank you for posting this information on your blog with photo visuals!!


I love that you contextualized the importance of the XP connection in our daily activities. Too often I observe practitioners carve out precious time to visit their studios only to leave yoga class and lean against elevator walls, walk down the sidewalk with accentuated rib flare, and slouch into their subway bucket seat. The principles of tadasana and the XP connection can be applied consistently throughout our day and it not only stabilizes the spine and alleviates back pain, but even offers increased energy and confidence. We are the product of the movements and shapes we assume 100% of the… Read more »

Jasmine Ellemo

Tadasana is a simple pose, yet so complex. It’s so good for posture, alignment and balance and can be done very actively, as a transition to rest in neutral or even as what I like to call ‘Standing Savasana’. It instantly helps me learn more about a student’s body, so I try to observe and learn about each student through this pose.

Trevor Gribble

I look forwards to meeting you tomorrow Holli,

Tadasana has always been a bit of a mystery to me. I’ve been cued into the pose a million different ways and at this point in my practice, I’ve given up on cues and instead just do my best to close my eyes and feel like an actual mountain.

In this YTU training, I’ve been working towards a much greater awareness of my neutral spine (I have many tendencies to overengage in places). So just a continual softening really.

Anyways, onwards and upwards into XP mountain pose!

Eva Roig

Since my Yoga Tune Up Level 1, I use those steps to re-align my body and breathe. Good to read those tips with the XP cue.

dominique pelletier

Tadasana revue et corrigé. Magnifique de pouvoir engagé notre corps en conscience et en entier dans une posture si simple et journalière.

dominique pelletier

Tadasana revue et corrigé. Quelle belle nouvelle conscience a amener sur notre corps. Incroyable comment nous pouvons engagé tous nos muscle dans une posture si simple…

Katy Haldiman, MS, RN

I love this description of what I refer to as “dropping the ribs” (which I learned from Katy Bowman with Nutritious Movement). The XP connection is critical in maintaining proper alignment while standing. In many yoga classes, students are encouraged to “shine out the heart”. I love that Yoga Tune Up® focuses on proper alignment and joint stacking. How refreshing!

Keiko Johnson

I enjoyed trying the XP connection. Like Shari, I needed to play with it a little to understand how these cues encouraged better poise in Tadasana. I look forward to using it more often because it offers a different way for me to think about how I hold my posture.


In “spiraldynamik(R)” we learn almost the same things, but there is one little movement more :
the first rip is “hover” up to the ceiling, and the tenth rip is melting down in the abdominal wall and is ” connected” with the pelvis, the cue is: ” breathing in the back rips, and wide the ripcage. To engage the ” Tubular Core” is a new thing for me, but it make sense.

Shari Williams

I liked experimenting with this because it was a challenge to actually comprehend it in my body, hence I kept playing at it. I confused especially at first, because on my computer the A,B,C, pictures are in reverse order. But once i got it–it created the best tadasana ever. My ribs weren’t flaring (with focus!), And i felt a new sensation of postural alignment.


Despite appearing to be a very basic pose, Tadasana has always been very hard for me. My knees knock, ribs thrust and pelvis anteriorly tilts in the pose. Having begun utilizing Tune-up Tadasana during my L1 certification it is becoming clearer how to simply stand with proper poise. I like the visualization of xp connection and will pass the idea forward. Thank you.

Sue Taylor

This is an interesting way to think about alignment . During my lifetime I had always aimed to draw the imaginary line between ear, shoulder, hip and ankle as is taught in many movement modalities. The XP connection makes total sense and a new sensory way of thinking about posture by aligning the front of the body. My posture sitting has always been on the slumpy side even though I ‘try’ to sit up straight whilst working at a computer. As I write this comment I am concentrating on the XP connection to find a neutral length between the two… Read more »

Matt Halawnicki

Helpful cues in bringing awareness to alignment!


A perfect cue. Way better than classic “pubis to navel” which focus only on the hips and lower back alignment and ignoring the position of rib cage. XP connection really help to activate muscular corset of the core and maintain right posture.

Gretchen Corbin

Thanks Holli for this unique way of cueing the actions in the torso during Tadasana. I will be incorporating this into my practice and my teaching. And as you suggest, I’ll be thinking about this XP Connection throughout my daily life as I’m standing in line and, as a previous commenter suggested, when I’m standing at my computer.

Mary Eileen

Great way to summarize all the great learning tolls of Yoga Tune Up…thanks for writing the article.


love that XP connection & tubular core help release upper back tension. The trapezius and levators are the worst on so many people.


Just learned this in level 1 tune up training yesterday. I can totally see using it at a standing desk while working or really anywhere I am standing. Excited to bring these cues into classes to share with others!


Thank you for the great cues Holli. I tend to say the same cues over and over when teaching tadasana.

Aotea Yoga

Thank you for this stimulating article about tadasana. Really Going to try this.