Standing, when broken down, requires quite a lot of thought, as in stacking blocks to achieve perfect alignment. We are not machines or stacks of blocks, and although yoga often asks us to move into positions that are not normal for human joints, it is the moving into a pose that makes it valuable. From how you place your feet, the kidney bean shape of each foot, the drawing up of the arches between the three main points in each foot, noticing how the ankles shift, lifting the knee caps, you notice that the weight of gravity interferes less in a body that is well aligned. As the process unfolds, there is length in your core and a noticeable balance between front and back and side to side. As you retract and lift your head, reaching for the sky, you may notice how the arms hang from the shoulder blades behind you. Standing solid like a mountain, for us, requires thought; for the mountains that surround us, protect us, hug us, it is a natural state of being.
I Believe in Mountains
Now, as the sun is going down and I am driving towards home, I breathe a sigh of relief and am still awed by the shadows and light. Because they are there and will always be there, unchanged, I believe in these mountains. They are sure witnesses who will live long after we have gone. They sleep quietly as we move up them, down them, around and through them. I am a speck of dust to their grandness, yet they hold me in their arms. I have made use of the mountains I know, climbing every trail, wearing out my shoes as dust has seeped into my clothes and turned them brown from the clay earth. By doing Tadasana, making this pose a part of us, the mountains become us, a steady companion in an unsteady world.