I've alluded to in previous posts about when I started yoga and why I took on a practice. It was after an major impact injury (a running collusion and a resulting fall onto a cement floor) that propelled me (and my parents) to find whatever mode of therapy to help with my back pain and injury.
After years of various rehabilitation treatments, I had thought I'd got my back (and hip) to a place of health and maintenance. I soon realized that after years of compensating I wasn't standing straight. The picture below is a prime example of how I use to stand. It wasn't until I saw this picture that I realized I'm not standing straight even when I think I am. Note: Left leg slightly externally rotated and such a wide stance!
Mountain pose (Tadasana) has been an excellent pose to work on my foundation and stance. Even outside of yoga classes, I have been consciously thinking about standing straight (washing dishes is a prime time when I can really go back to my old stance!). Mountain pose seems like such an "easy" stance but in fact it is one of the hardest poses for me. Not only do I stand crooked but I also have hyper mobility in my knee joints whereby I hyperextended and lock out my knees frequently. This isn't conducive to proper mountain pose positioning.
One of the key points of mountain pose that I learned from Judy, was weight distribution on my feet. This has allowed me to stand properly. Have you ever tried to equal distribute your body weight to your pinky toe, big toe and heel (think of it as a triangle - similar to the picture below)? I rarely allowed my pinky to take on any of the load! Now it is the triangle I think about when standing and particularly when practicing mountain pose.
The benefits of yoga have been many over the years and it is likely that this is one of the greatest benefits for me. I am by no means completely straight all day every day but I know my foundation has been improved. Who knew standing upright would be so hard!?!
Standing straight (most of the time),
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Aspiring Yoga Teacher
I've practiced yoga since I was a pre-teen and have always found it to keep me centered. I will be a teacher one day and this is my journey to discover teaching and practice.