Guest Author - Tracy Webb
Yoga is so good for lengthening and strengthening the body. We have mostly adopted bad habits to our lifestyle through lack of exercise, sitting too long and slouching. As a result, many people are now suffering from back pain and bad posture. The addition of Tadasan, a simple yet effective asan, can assist in undoing those bad habits due to the deep stretch you can achieve through its practice.
Tadasan, also known as The Palm Tree can be practiced either laying on the floor or standing. I prefer to do this laying on the floor as I can stretch more without having to worry about losing my balance. I feel that the stretch is more powerful performed on the floor, though; you may find you prefer the standing version.
Due to the traction in all 206 bones, it is said to be effective in lengthening the body and increasing height. It also creates space in the body as the distance between the hipbones and rib cage is increased thereby distributing fat more evenly in the stomach and buttocks areas.
With fat more evenly distributed Tadasan assists with digestion, breathing, blood circulation and excretory function. It is also beneficial for reducing the pain caused by arthritis and rheumatism, energising the heart and removing stress from the shoulders.
Due to the increased functions that are activated through the practice of Tadasan, it engages and invigorates the mind while increasing energy and reducing laziness. The flow of energy through the body is increased and stiffness lessened.
You may wonder what all the fuss is about once you actually try it since it is so simple and easy to do. As with all yoga asan, to achieve the maximum benefits, this must be done will full awareness, focus on the breath and complete mindfulness. It is easy to underestimate the effects and results that can be received through practicing yoga properly due to their simplicity.
How To Do Tadasan
- Lie flat on the floor with legs straight in front of you and feet together.
- As you inhale, stretch your arms above your head and point your toes away from you.
- Stretch your body, pulling out from the hips as if being pulled by two people, one from the feet and one from the hands, stretching you in opposite directions.
- Hold your breath for up to 15 seconds and continue to stretch.
- Try not to clench the muscles during the stretch as this puts extra stress on them, especially round the neck and shoulders.
- Exhale slowly and release the stretch, come back into the starting position.
- Relax. Lie still for about 30 seconds.
- Repeat the asan trying to stretch even further than you did the last time.
- Relax in Shavasan for up to a minute.
As said before, Tadasan can also be practiced standing. As you inhale, raise your arms above your head and raise your heels so you are on tiptoes and stretch. It may be difficult for some to achieve such a deep stretch while standing due to balance considerations. Greater benefits can be achieved once you are competent in balancing postures.
It is surprising how much this posture can strengthen core muscles and in turn help with back pain. You may notice your posture improves and your breathing is more relaxed due to the space created in the diaphragm. This is a perfect example of how the practice of yoga (union) assists in creating an integrated and balanced healthy body.
Try adding Tadasan into your yoga routine and see how it helps you. It’s a fabulous asan to do first thing in the morning to lengthen your body and align all your bones correctly ready for the day ahead.