This seemingly simple pose offers much in the way of finding alignment, settling the body in awareness and grounding. Tadasana is a wonderful pose to explore and deepen during the heart of winter. It's so important to stay grounded during these months to prevent falls and to generate heat in your body.
It is actually one of my favorite poses, as it reminds me to find my center and bring awareness to my breath and feet. When I move into Tadasana I spread my toes wide and soften them to the floor. I stand evenly across the feet, feeling my shoulders line up with hips, then knees and then ankles. Keeping a neutral spine, the buttocks soften and knees face forward. As I tune more closely into how the breath is moving, I breathe roots down through my legs, out my feet and into the earth. With each breath I send those roots deeper, until I feel heat and energy moving into my body.
My dad had a lot of issues with his feet as he grew older, to the point where it was painful for him to walk. His circulation suffered, the skin on his feet thinned and his feet were always cold. It was hard to find him comfortable shoes. Twenty years ago I could feel myself following in his footsteps (pun intended), but once I devoted more time to my yoga practice and working with Wholeness Energetics and Reiki, my feet began to change.Tadasana was a key asana in that shift. The skin on my feet became healthier, my toe base opened up more, energy moved more freely, and my traditionally cold feet warmed up.
I practice Tadasana whenever I'm standing, whether I'm at home, teaching a class, grocery shopping or needing to stand for long periods of time. So many of my students have commented how this simple pose has helped them get through long hours on their feet, without feeling exhausted at the end of the day. It is the pose that all standing poses begin from, so consider it your foundation, and let that foundation be strong!