Written by Dr. Nancy Ash, DD, PhD – Worldwide Director of the NewEarth University, a new-paradigm learning initiative of the New Earth Project. (Excerpted with permission from her website, www.doinga360.com, © 2009.)
Enjoy this brief article on Yoga’s Mountain Pose with basic instructions and tips:
As I prepare a steaming cup of hot water with lemon, it’s a clear colorful sunrise up on Sandia Peak at 10,600 ft., the view from my kitchen window in New Mexico (known as the land of enchantment). Mountains remind me of a beloved, sacred spherical strategy—yoga—that’s quite popular today, but sometimes overlooked because of daunting, intimidating misconceptions that it’s too complicated, time-consuming or strenuous. Anyone can do this ancient discipline—anyone!
Like the beautiful Sandias, Hatha Yoga’s Mountain Pose inspires grounded strength, courage, poise and upliftment in an essential physical posture that is felt by the Soul with a 360-degree view… That means when practicing the pose, whether seated (as in Chair Yoga) or standing, one is visualizing the magnanimousness of our entire world from an empowered stance atop the tallest mountain.
There’s a reason Yoga is still around after thousands of years: It works. My focus is ‘optimal living’ strategies, i.e., living our best life, so honoring the physical body or temple for the Soul is sacred. Let’s explore incorporating simple Yoga practices into your life—in this moment.
Mountain Pose is called Tadasana in Sanskrit. Tada means mountain, and asana means pose. Mountain is sometimes also known as Samasthiti, comprised of two Sanskrit words: sama meaning upright, straight, unmoved; and sthiti (pronounced stih-tee) meaning steadiness—sometimes translated as ‘equal standing.’
Some schools of Yoga call a seated variation of Mountain Pose, Dandasana, which is Sanskrit meaning rod or staff pose. When doing this posture I like to visualize the staff of Moses, which he used to perform miracles in Egypt. Even if you are wheelchair bound (as some of my students), you can practice Yoga. The emphasis in a Chair Yoga version of Mountain Pose is lifting and lengthening, thereby opening the spinal column from the sit bones up to the crown of the head while grounding the lower body through the legs into the feet.
You may choose to practice right now. You’re probably sitting while reading this…so consider doing Yoga’s Mountain Pose with me from your chair:
Place your feet (shoes off) hips width apart on the floor.
In Seated Mountain sense equal weight on both feet with four parts of each foot: the bottom of the ball of the foot (below big toe), below the ball of the pinky toe, and the top of your heel—left and right sides.
Tip: Pick up your foot and learn these areas with your fingers.
Now feel the ground from these ‘square corners’ in your feet… ah, you are doing Yoga already!
Tip: If you don’t feel or ‘get this’ initially, just lift your toes and then press feet down—the four corners evenly.
Consciously s-l-o-w and deepen your breath… Feel expanded awareness as the presence of this moment. Exhalations are now twice as long as your inhalations. Maintain calm, tranquil abiding…
As you relax don’t let yourself slump. Gently sit up straight during Seated Mountain, feeling your tailbone in the center and the sit bones, flanking it. Rest your palms down on your thighs. Rotate your shoulders back and relax them downward. Keep your head centered; neck, jaw-joints, throat and tongue…nice and soft.
You may wish to close your eyes. Open or closed, see from within to the Source of this moment feeling strong, noble and empowered.
Tip: Continue to lengthen your spinal column upward with subtle movement to the crown of your head. Sense some healthy space between the vertebral bones of your spine.
Tip: Visualize standing on top of the highest mountain—majestic, divine, powerful and uplifted… soaring to the heavens. Feel the magnanimousness of a 360-degree view: Seeing clearly in all directions with an all-encompassing vision of Oneness.
Finish Mountain Pose slowly… Feeling refreshed, integrate the experience with your surroundings.
Daily Tip: When standing with shoes on during regular daily activities…pause… and mindfully practice Tadasana “squaring” your feet for improved posture, balance and grounding.
Daily Tip: Go barefoot as often as possible… Try it! Spend more time free from shoes than wearing them. Feel the Earth, her glorious mountains sensed through your expanded consciousness.
Your Soul will delight in the higher vibrations.
OM Shantih, Shantih, Shantih
Heartfelt Blessings of Peace in Grace,
Reverend Dr. Nancy Ash, DD, PhD is a modern day mystic, pioneering Raja Yogini (E-RYT) and midwife to the new paradigm since the 1970s. Her heart-centered voice is heard worldwide as a passionate new-thought-leader, author/poet, tv host, and former radio co-host championing peace for all women, men and children on this planet.
Nancy is Chancellor of the NewEarth University, a planetary hub for wisdom-keeping of the greater, NewEarth Project. Dr. Ash is a professor, graduate/postgrad advisor and Dean of the School of Interspiritual Studies at New Earth Theological University (online). In tandem with decades of multi-dimensional work as a “Oneness advocate” in the field of evolutionary consciousness, Dr. Ash is deeply honored to serve on the founding Board of Trustees for the International Tribunal for Natural Justice (ITNJ), to ensure that human rights are fairly and nobly upheld, restoring justice-making to the people. She feels that serving in this capacity is an enormous responsibility steeped in integrity, diligence and steadfast devotion to a better world.
Nancy resides in the enchanted mountains of New Mexico, USA and is the author of two books: Garland of Grace: Sitting with the Dying Sun, and Doing a 360: Turning Your Life Around to Follow Soul’s Purpose. Learn more here