Mt. Meru is the force that holds up the universe – the cosmic core and infinite center…
What is in the universe is in us – an inner Mt Meru that sustains our personal universe.
We call it The Spine: our skeletal core and the muscles that support it is the vertebral column, which contains our neural core, the spinal chord – which in turn contains our psychic core, sushumna channel, through which Shakti power, when awakened, flows.
For every energy there is an asana, posture, that manifests it. Mountain pose – Tadasana, meaning mountain – is the asana that teaches us to be centered and supported from our core. You could call it the basic, universal asana.
That’s it. Just standing. It sounds so simple – hardly a pose at all. Just what we as humans do. Yet I’ve learned over years that Mountain Pose, just standing, is the ultimate test and expression of spinal alignment. And if we’re not aligned standing, we can’t find balance in either basic movement or more complex asanas.
Stand against a wall, with your feet just far enough away that you can easily keep the back of your head, shoulders, and sacrum against the wall. Melt into the wall and let it support you – no tension at all – just stand. How does it feel to be completely supported? Your spine feels longer, doesn’t it?
Curl over into a forward bend, resting your sit bones against the wall. Let gravity stretch out your spine; your ribs releasing on your legs, your shoulders releasing from your ribs; your head releasing from your neck. Now, slowly roll up, pressing each vertebra into the wall. Take your time; enjoy the support of the wall and the lazy lengthening of your spine as you come to standing. Take a moment to really take in the feeling of alignment and support.
Now gently push away from the wall, and ‘just stand’ with the same sense of support you felt against the wall. Send the crown of your head through the ceiling to touch the clouds. Send your feet through the floor to the center of the earth. Be the cosmic Mountain.
How strong to you feel? How confident of yourself – how easy in your body?
How we stand is the physical manifestation of our mental and emotional being. If you doubt that, take a moment to collapse your chest and settle into a slouch. Depressing. Or forcefully hold yourself up ‘straight.’ Tension producing. Now return to center, to the inner mountain. Stand – be – as tall as you are. Different, no?
Our standing posture exposes us to the the world – and to ourselves – revealing where we hold tension; where we’re off balance; how we feel about ourselves. It is also the only asana that we have no choice but to do – that, in fact, we perform all day long – usually totally unaware we’re doing it. Bring consciousness to how we’re standing, and we cannot help but connect to our inner Mt. Meru. We get a sense of just what it’s like to be supported from the center of the universe.
Empowering, isn’t it?