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. 

Adho mukha śvānāsana: Downward Facing Dog