Bryant Park Yoga is back in New York City for its 12th season, featuring teachers curated by Yoga Journal. This week's featured instructor is Jean Koerner, who taught at Bryant Park on Tuesday morning.
Mountain Pose (Tadasana) may seem simple, but it will immediately ground you and reconnect you with your center. It is strengthening, calming, balancing, and empowering -- just what we need as we transition from the lazy days of summer to the chaos of fall. Governed by the Vata dosha in Ayurveda, the autumn season is characterized by airy, windy, dry, and erratic qualities, making a take-anywhere grounding pose just what the Ayurvedic doctor ordered. Keep this portable pose in your back pocket to pull out and practice anytime you need to slow down and breathe a bit more deeply, whether you're standing in line or waiting to cross the street.
How To Get Grounded Anywhere: Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Starting at the base of the body, line up the 7 segments of the body like building blocks that you are neatly stacking upon one another from the ground up.
Segment #1: Roots (legs and feet)
Evenly distribute the weight between the balls of the feet and the heels, between the right and left foot, and between the inner and outer rotations of the legs.
Segment #2: Pelvis
Your pelvis is like a bowl of soup. Position it upright to keep it from tipping forward or back (and "spilling").
Segment #3: Naval, low back
Balance the length of the front and back body to avoid over-expressing the front of the body or caving it in.
Segment #4: Heart, arms, and hands
Bring the front ribs to neutral to avoid poking them out or sinking in the chest.
Segment #5: Shoulders and neck
Slide shoulders back, shoulder blades to neutral, and extend the neck long.
Segment #6: Head and face
Balance your head on the top of your spine.
Segment #7: Crown
Reach up through the crown of your head.
On a personal note, at the end of my Bryant Park class, when I looked out at the exquisite faces of like-minded people in this fantastically beautiful outdoor setting, I was overwhelmed with unexpected emotion and joy and felt profound love for what I do and the gift of being able to share it here in NYC. Teaching in Bryant Park was the highlight of my summer! Now, time to get ready for fall.
Bryant Park Yoga classes take place every Tuesday and Thursday through Sept. 23rd. Follow the Bryant Park Yoga series at #YJendlessYOGAsummer.