Tadasana: Mountain Pose
"Tada" in Sankskrit is "mountain" and "asana" means "seat" or "posture". This translates to mountain seat or mountain pose.
To stand in Tadasana:
*Root down through your toes: spread them wide, and push down through your big toe and pinky.
*Move two thirds of your weight into your heals and energetically pull your feet apart (not actually moving them).
*Contract your calf muscles and quadriceps, or thighs. Squeeze right beneath your bottom.
*Engage your pelvic floor, or mula bhanda (root lock). Pull your belly inward toward your spine, feeling into your abdominals and core.
*Lengthen your spine and roll your shoulders down and back, away from your ears.
*Lengthen through your neck, and be tall through your crown.
*Feel strong, stable, and secure in this pose; confident, as if your standing on the highest mountain.
Mountain pose is a pose you can practice at any time, anywhere. Its purpose is to bring awareness to the moment, and allow you to feel grounded- safe, secure, stable, balanced, and connected to Earth.
Utkatasana: Chair Pose
Utkata means "powerful" or "fierce", because it builds energy quickly. It is called Chair Pose due to the way the posture looks, as if you're sitting in a chair.
To find your chair:
*Take a deep breath in, reaching arms over head, and as you exhale: bend your knees and lower your bottom down.
*Move your weight into your heals, and slide your knees back a little, as you lower.
*Energetically pull your thighs inward toward each other.
*Engage your pelvic floor and pull your belly in, to activate your core.
*Bring your chin just halfway toward your chest to lengthen the back of your neck.
*Reach out with the top of your head and finger tips, and push back with your thumbs to open your heart.
*Breath in to lengthen your spine, exhale to sit deeper into pose.