By Evelyn Abruzzo
Namaste and welcome to Boomer Yoga, your path to reversing the aging process!
Walking is one of the greatest joys of living in NYC. Today, as you walk in the city begin to notice the posture of those around you. Notice those with rounded shoulders and backs, their heads pointing towards the pavement. And then notice those who stand up straight with shoulders stacked over their hips, heads level. Which one are you? Which one do you want to be?
We often assume that poor posture naturally comes with aging, but that is simply not the case! Yes, it can be an effort to stand up straight since most of us spend way too much time hunched over a desk or computer or just relaxing into a slouch. This action pulls the upper body down, rounding our backs and collapsing our chests. Not only does it squeeze our organs restricting our natural life force, but it is not very attractive!
So today to counter act this habit, we will practice Tadasana, commonly known as Mountain Pose, the pose on which all other poses are based. This version has been passed along in the Ishta Tradition by my teacher, Alan Finger.
First we will try it against a wall.
1) Stand with your feet hip distance apart (about one or two fists apart) and make sure your heels are behind the widest part of of your foot. All ten toes are pointing straight ahead. Lift your toes and place them down gently so that you are not gripping.
2) Press into the mound behind the big toe, the mound behind the little toe and the center of your heel.
3) Lift the kneecaps to firm the thighs.
4) Firm your lower abdomen in and up and lift the lower ribs off the hips. Lengthen both sides of the body equally.
5) Place your thumbs underneath your armpits with the fingers pointed up and feel the broadness across the chest. Keep that lift and release the hands by your sides. Rotate the palms to face forward so the collarbones broaden. Then turn the palms in. Relax the fingers down by your sides as if they had little weights at the tips.
6) Your shoulders should feel like a clothes hanger with your arms draping down. This will allow you to maintain space across the chest as the head and neck floats on the tip of your spine.
7) Sense your knees stacked over your ankles, your hips stacked over your knees, your shoulders over your hips and your ears over your shoulders.
8) Rest your eyes on a point at eye level. Breathe easily and deeply. Easily and deeply. Take five rounds of breath. Inhale fully and exhale completely.
9) Move away from the wall and try it again.
Come into this pose whenever you are waiting in line at the grocery store or bus or just standing. Enjoy in joy! And see you next time.