Mountain Pose in Practice
There are two forces at work.
One is positive and one is negative.
They can be expressed by the Taoist symbol.
One is not more important than the other.
They are interrelated and interdependent.
All of life can be expressed by their interplay.
In hatha yoga, when standing in Mountain Pose, we can tap into these two energies very simply.
* Remember, the exercises in them selves are not magical or a ‘cure all’. The asanas, the meditation, the pranayama – all of these things are tools to help us get to know and express the basic philosophy of yoga – that of unity and wholeness.
Try this exercise outside.
- Feet together or hip distance apart.
- Lift and place the toes. Rock gently from side to side to bring your awareness into your feet.
- As you move up to your knees, see the connection between the feet, though the calf and up into the knee. See, in your minds eye, the connection and flow of skin, blood, and bones.
- Lift and tighten the knees.
- Pull up the thighs.
- Remember, while everything is lifted and aware – it is still ‘ light and strong’, rather than ‘tense and brittle’. Feel the difference.
- Tuck the tail bone through – we want the jutting hip bones and the pubic bone on a similar vertical plane.
- Take in a deep breath. As you breath out, gently draw the lower muscles of your stomach in.
- Lengthen through the spine. Long and tall.
- Keep the movements soft, gentle and smile a little with love and care towards your body.
- Lift the shoulders up, roll them back and gently let them settle into place. Check your ribs don’t stick out.
- Relax your arms beside your body
- Lengthen through the back of your neck.
- Soften the face. Soften the back of the neck and head. Soften the jaw. Relax the eyes.
Once you are comfortable in your pose. Once you have breathed and felt your body. Take a slightly different perspective. See yourself as one person, standing on the face of the earth. Your feet are connected to the earth. Your head is reaching up towards the sky.
Now, as a matter of fact, you are now in the position for being the perfect conduit for the two energies – just as you stand. The earth is heavy, dark and passive. The sky is light, bright and active.
Begin with your feet. Begin to draw up the energy through the earth up into your body. As you begin to feel ‘something’ – visualize the great expanse of the sky above you. Imagine the energy of the sky begin to pour into your body through your head.
Keep both energies flowing up into your body.
They meet in your centre. In your navel. Your navel is the meeting point for the two energies. You are the perfect vessel to hold these two energies in balance in your body.
Continue your practice.