By Nirooshita Sethuram, Yogaratna
I was born into a Hindu family in Sri Lanka. Standing is a most important posture for our family, especially for cultural and religious events. Often, we stand barefoot on the floor or on a mat. It depends on what is required and the ceremony that we are attending. And we must stand for hours at times!
So, naturally, I thought I was very comfortable standing anywhere at any place. This was until I found Svaroopa® yoga and learned how to stand. That’s when Tadasana became my favorite pose. Tadasana taught me how to stand with ease settling into my own Self deeply while standing.
Most of us tighten our spine when we stand. How long can you stand without tightening your spine? In Svaroopa® yoga, I found the answer to this question. Yes, in Tadasana I accomplished standing without tightening my spine for however long is needed.
Tadasana also helped me develop the correct standing posture to stand in my daily life. I learned to improve the way I use my legs and feet. I learned how to lean into my bones. Learning how to lean weight into bone. Now I stand using my bones. This strengthens my legs, because as you lean weight into a bone, it gets thicker and stronger. When you hold yourself up with muscles, especially spinal muscles, you are not leaning into your bones.
Standing in Tadasana allows my weight to lean through my leg bones, into the bones of my feet, and through my feet into the floor. This activates my arches. In this way, leaning into my bones not only preserves and increases their strength. This also giv
es me a feeling of being grounded. It makes me able to apply that to everything else I do.
I’ve also learned to distribute my weight evenly on both of my feet. This helps my balance (physical, mental and emotional) as well as stamina. In this way, I’m able to take yoga into the midst of my life.
Oh! I must also mention getting taller and lighter by standing in Tadasana. When I carefully align myself, I truly experience Tadasana as the “standing version” of Shavasana. The name says it all: Tadasana = Tat + asana = Pose of “That” (the Supreme Reality). Standing in Tadasana and settling with ease gives me the experience of the Self! I stand in the deeper dimensions of my own Beingness, which is who I really am.
As always, I grateful to my Guru, Swami Nirmalananda Saraswati. We lovingly call her Gurudevi for giving us the practices and poses. They reliably give us the experiences they describe. How blessed am I to learn and experience these ancient methodologies by a modern living Guru such as Gurudevi Ji!