// Tadasana: Mountain Pose
The autumn equinox has passed, and slowly the days grow shorter. The mornings are cold, the wind blows the colored leaves from their homes high above the street, and we find ourselves moving inward. It is a time for introspection and reflection. In our Yoga practice, we work on the art of letting go. We let go of what no longer serves us; we release attachments to things, beliefs, and visions that keep us from being present, finding peace, loving, and letting ourselves be loved. In the time of year when the night overtakes the day we work in the dark places to clear away the old destructive behaviors and manifest an open space that can be filled, a vessel that can be used.
Tadasana, mountain pose, is the foundation for all standing positions in Yoga. Physically, it creates space, making it an appropriate feature for this month. The space created by the strengthening of the legs and abdomen and the lengthening of the spine encourages good posture, steadies breath, improves circulation, and promotes healthy digestion. In turn, the subtle sense of dullness begins to fade, leaving only enthusiasm, energy, and increased awareness of the unity of mind and body.
Stand with heels and big toes together. Stretch all toes so they are flat on the floor. Evenly distribute weight around your feet, from the inside of your big toes, to your pinky toes, to your heels. Drive the energy down into the earth and feel a strong foundation and a deep sense of rooting.
Become aware of your ankles; be sure they are directly above your feet and are not caving into the center. Work your way up your legs and arrive at your knees. Do not lock them, but allow a gentle bend to occur and begin to engage the muscles directly above. Moving the energy up toward your hips, begin to rotate your upper thigh slightly inward to widen your sit bones and lengthen your tailbone toward the ground. Begin to feel the subtle engagement of your low belly.
Draw your awareness along your spine toward your shoulders. Press your shoulder blades into your back. Begin to widen them and then release them down your back. Lift your sternum up toward the ceiling without pushing your rib cage forward. Widen your collarbones and hang your arms by your side. Find your breath and begin to create space.
You can add variation by changing how your arms are placed. You can lift your arms over your shoulders with palms turned in, place them at heart center, or keep them by your side with palms turned forward.