I don’t have a very strong home practice. I don’t always wake up with the discipline to start my day doing yoga. This is something I vowed to change. I set my alarm clock (not my phone) and wanted do yoga before I checked any emails or calls.
I did a semi interesting self imposed routine nothing that profound until… I realized I had been standing completely still for 5 maybe 10 minutes. And I realized I finally understand how to stand.
Mountain pose is my second favorite pose to teach. Why? Because it’s pretty much corpse pose (savasana) standing up! I also enjoy it because it’s very detailed . It also helps everyone everyday. I know with my students if I keep re emphasizing something as basic as standing- over time this will improve their quality of life . If we learn how to properly stand we can eliminate lower back pain, shallow breathing, and anxiety while improving blood circulation and balance.
As I stood there truly still, light and balanced I noticed how finely turned I had become in my own body. The detail of my foot work. My weight was so perfectly distributed on the balls and heel of my feet. It was as if the ground had molded to me not the other way around. Climbing higher my awareness of the bones ( knees subtly bent) in alignment all the way up to my hips, my front hip bones were ever so slightly tilted up allowing my back tailbone to drop down. Every movement I am describing here is extremely subtle.
Often when standing we allow the belly to hang. I had to remind myself to pull the pelvic floor up and in, bring my belly button closer to my spin, direct my inhale into the sides of my ribs and back. This did not mean my shoulders raised. When we breathe our shoulders should release down the the back and draw away from the ears. Gently tilt the chin parallel with the earth.
The only way I could describe it was as if I was standing on top of my legs. As if my torso and been place on two divine pillars and I was simply existing above it. Although I teach and practice yoga a lot it was certainly this experience in my home practice where I got to see the beautiful empire of my work beginning to take hold. Your body is an instrument and needs conditioning to be so in tune. But I promise some days in yoga you will feel true alignment with your body and mind and that is where the spirit shines.