I have been a vinyasa yoga teacher for about two years. I wonder whether to choose Tadasana or Samasthiti when I start my class in Sun Salutations. I know the two come from different lineages of yoga. —Anonymous
Read Maty Ezraty’s response:
Samasthiti (Equal Standing) is a command to attention, to stand in balanced stillness. It is the practice of standing with equal, steady, and still attention. Tadasana (Mountain Pose) is the posture that invokes Samasthiti. These poses are not different. They are the same.
In Iyengar Yoga, the alignment principles of Tadasana are to be taught and reviewed before teaching almost any other posture. This helps us see how Tadasana lives in every pose. Fine-tuning and refining our understanding of Tadasana will lead to a healthy yoga practice.
In the Ashtanga method, alignment usually is not emphasized as much. We use the time in Samasthiti to come to attention and bring our awareness to our breath, coming back to our center.
This is not to say that one method is better than the other. My advice to you is to teach Tadasana in vinyasa-based classes. It is extremely helpful and necessary for students to understand and appreciate this pose. It is from understanding the correct alignment in Tadasana that the command of Samasthiti will unfold.