• Stand with your feet about a hip distance apart. Have the feet parallel, with the toes pointing forward.
• Feel into the soles of your feet. Lift and spread the toes then lower them back down and connect with the ground.
• Gently lift the knee caps, without locking the knees back.
• Draw the thigh muscles softly up. The inner thighs turn slightly in.
• Release the tailbone down (rather than tucking it right under). So the pelvis is in a neutral position.
• Draw the pelvic floor muscles together and draw your abdomen slightly in and up to engage Mula Bandha (the pelvic floor muscles) and Uddiyana Bandha (the abdominals up to the diaphragm).
• Open your chest, the top of sternum lifts towards the ceiling. Keep your ribs soft.
• Broaden across your collarbones. Firm your shoulder blades onto your back.
• Have your ears above the shoulders. Lift through the crown of the head.
• Soften the face, especially the eyes and the jaw and free up your breath.
• If you find it difficult to get your pelvis in a neutral position, try bending your knees slightly. Drop the tailbone, then once you feel you have it, straighten the knees again without changing the position of the pelvis.
• Take a block between the thighs. Squeeze the block and roll it slightly backward to feel the subtle engagement and internal rotation of the thighs.
• Prepares the body for all other standing poses. • Helps to identify imbalances in the body. • Improves posture. • Calms the body and mind.
Watch out for...
• Avoid tightening or clenching in this pose. Make sure that your chest is soft. Try not to let this pose become stiff and soldier like.
• Try not to speed through or skip Mountain Pose. Although it looks like simply standing up, practicing the correct actions in Tadasana and staying for a few breaths will set you up for your whole standing practice.
• Bring the palms together in front of the chest into Prayer Position (Anjali Mudra). Close your eyes and use this as a time to pause between poses, feeling the effect on your body.
• Interlace your fingers, extend the arms straight in front of you for a shoulder stretch. • Try practicing this pose with your eyes closed. Rock the weight slightly back into your heels and then forward into the balls of your feet a couple of times to find your balance point.
Progression Tree Pose Vrksasana
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