Tadasana (Sanskrit: ताडासन; IAST: Tāḍāsana), Mountain Pose or Samasthiti (Sanskrit: समस्थिति; IAST: samasthitiḥ) is a standing asana in modern yoga as exercise; it is not described in medieval hatha yoga texts. It is the basis for several other standing asanas.
Etymology and origins
The pose is unknown in hatha yoga until the 20th century Light on Yoga, but the pose appears in the 1896 Vyayama Dipika, a manual of gymnastics, as part of the "very old" sequence of danda (Sanskrit for "staff" or "stick") exercises. Norman Sjoman suggests that it is one of the poses adopted into modern yoga as exercise in Mysore by Krishnamacharya and forming the "primary foundation" for his vinyasas with flowing movements between poses. The pose would then have been taken up by his pupils Pattabhi Jois and B. K. S. Iyengar.
It is a basic standing asana in most forms of yoga with feet together and hands at the sides of the body. There is some contention between different styles of yoga regarding the details of the asana which results in some variations.
The posture is entered by standing with the feet together, grounding evenly through the feet and lifting up through the crown of the head. The thighs are lifted, the waist is lifted, and the spine is elongated. Breathing is relaxed. Although Tāḍāsana is a basic asana, it is the basis for many standing asanas. As such, it is important as it allows the body and consciousness to integrate the experience of the preceding āsana and to prepare for the next.
Pashchima Namaskarasana or Reverse Prayer Pose has the hands in prayer position behind the back.
Urdhva Vrikshasana, also called Urdhva Hastasana or upward tree pose, has the hands stretched straight upwards, and the gaze is upward to the Angusthamadhye Drishti (thumbs). The pose occurs twice in Ashtanga Yoga's Surya Namaskar.
Anuvittasana or Hasta Uttanasana (Standing Back Bend), has the arms raised and the back arched. With the arms stretched straight down, it can be called Stiti Shalabhasana, Standing Locust. An extreme form of the pose is Tiryang Mukhottanasana, in which the back bend is sufficient to enable the hands to grasp the ankles.
Some reclining asanas such as Supta Tadasana (Reclined Mountain Pose) stem from Tadasana.
In Iyengar Yoga, where the pose is called Tadasana and not distinguished from Samasthitih, the arms can be raised over the head or kept at the sides of the legs. It appears in the 1st and 2nd weeks of Iyengar's āsana courses as detailed in Light on Yoga.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
In Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Tadasana is performed on the toes, while Samasthitiḥ is flat footed. In this style of yoga the two āsanas are different. Samasthitiḥ is the centerpiece of the standing sequence and the foundation for the Hasta Vinyasas (arm vinyasas), Parsva Bhangi (side) vinyasas, Uttanasana (forward bending) vinyasas, and squatting/hip stretching asanas. In the standing sequence, the final asana of the series (before Savasana) is Tadasana, performed on the toes. In Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Tadasana is the beginning and ending asana in the warm-up Surya Namaskar sequence. It is sometimes interspersed throughout Ashtanga Series when full vinayasas are used, and it is the foundational pose for all standing asanas.
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