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.
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.