Monday, July 09, 2007

Subway Tadasana

In one of the most basic yoga poses, Tadasana, or "Mountain Pose," you are supposed to stand purposefully with the soles of your feet pressed firmly into the earth, your thigh muscles firm, your knee caps and sternum lifted, your shoulders pulled back and downwards, the crown of your head centered directly over your pelvis, and the weight of your body perfectly balanced.

Like all yoga poses, there's nothing passive about Tadasana. Instead, the pose is a dynamic attempt to create a line of energy running from the crown up your head, down your back, through your groin and legs, and out the soles of your feet into the ground. Standing in Tadasana takes energy, and it also creates energy, energy that you can use to stabilize yourself and ground yourself firmly into the floor. The term "Mountain Pose" makes sense to me, because in Tadasana you attempt to become as stable and evenly balanced, and as firmly rooted into the earth, as the most mammoth of mountains. It's a pose of power that is also excellent for your posture.

I practiced Mountain Pose this morning while riding the subway on my way to work. Usually, I hang on to the nearest rail with a grip of death to keep me from flailing about the subway car. It's express so it goes really fast. But, today I loosened my grip and concentrated instead on planting the soles of my feet, and the weight of my body, firmly against the shaky floor as the car careened down the track. I felt the tension and strength in my thighs, knees, and toes, and envisioned myself as perfectly stable and in balance.

My experiment was a resounding success. I managed to stay perfectly up right without having to grab the railing through both jerky turns and a screeching stop. It was a triumphant start to the day.


Karianne said...

Wow! What a way to multi-task.

Gypsy said...

Which reminds me, I so need to start back doing yoga.

That's a wonderful start to your day. :)

amber, the publisist said...

Hey, Buttercup. I'm sorry to leave a comment on your blog, but I don't see an email address for you.

I am a book publicist working with a memoir written by writer/producer Amy Cohen, called The Late Bloomers Revolution. It's a memoir about her life, dealing with the loss of a sitcom writing job, the loss of a boyfriend (with whom she had been discussing marriage), the loss of her face (to a hideous rash) the loss of her mom, (to cancer) and her (seemingly) never-ending search for love in her thirties.

From the back of the book: Filled with observations sweet, bittersweet, and laugh-out-loud funny, The Late Bloomers Revolution is irresistible to anyone who reaches adulthood and thinks: Who am I going to be now?

Amy has been a dating columnist for The New York Observer, a writer/producer for Caroline in the City and Spin City and a dating correspondent for cable TV's New York Central.

She lives in New York City, and is currently embarked on a blog tour, which I would like you to be a part of. I would like to send you a copy of the book to preview, and then set up an interview with Amy via email.

I hope this is of interest, and I hope to hear from you soon!

You can email me at amber at mediamuscle dot com.

Pirate said...

A blog tour! Rock on!

Anyway, your post made me think of yet another parallel between yoga and rock climbing. I think one of the things that made your pose work (other than your zen-masterness) is that when you flex your leg & core muscles, it pushes blood towards them, making your center of gravity drop slightly. That makes you more stable when the train goes from 200 mph to 0 in the 2 seconds it took you to notice that tall, cute guy and lose your grip slightly.

Buttercup said...

Karianne - I try. :)

Gypsy - Me too! I've started going once every two weeks but I need to up that.

Pirate - I am a zen master in disguise. Can pushing blood down to my legs really alter my center of gravity? That's kind of awesome. Were you in NY/CT this week and didn't call me?

pirate said...

What?! No! I would NEVER. Honestly. Must have been some other pirate.

amy said...

true yogis often say that true yoga practice should never stop, that every waking movement should be balanced with a much intention as possible. i practice such things while standing in line at the grocery, in the car in traffic, etc. definitely makes waiting for things more fun!