Talasana (Palm Tree) Sequence, also referred to as Tadasana (Mountain Pose) is the first krama of the vinyasa krama yoga that Krishnamacharya taught Srivatsa Ramaswami, who studied with him for over 33 years.
Starting in Tadasana-Samasthiti and maintaining the steadiness with the feet together throughout the practice initiates balance and stability by moving from our center and pulling prana up from the earth through the spine.
Through breath mastery in asana, mindfulness, subtle yogic elements, pranayama, and principles of sequencing we facilitate optimal distribution of prana, open up the energy channels, sharpen our concentration, create a supple and strong body, and a peaceful mind.
Practiced with the two feet together all the major joints and muscles of the body are exercised using arm movements, back bends, side bends, twists, forward bends, squats and balancing foot stretches. The position of the head remains chin to chest (not the full jalandhara bandha as is practiced in maha mudra and tataka mudra) for most of the practice which lengthens the thoracic spine, aids the ujjayi breathing and helps with balance. The muscles of the lungs, rib cage, neck, throat & nasal passages all work together in this systematic set of movements. The front of the legs remain relaxed. A dristhi or focused gaze is maintained throughout the practice.
The principal element of this practice is the coordination of the mindful (conscious, deliberate) ujjayi breath (throated, long, smooth, with ease) with precisely synchronized slow, graceful movements (relaxed, yet alert) in a predetermined intelligent order that progressively open us up physically and energetically. The controlled breath remains unbroken at a uniform rate with a pause after each inhale and exhale to maintain the correct ujjayi.
The fingers interlaced create a prana circuit as they come together in the repetitive movement over the head. The breath specific movements create energy along the spine and central nervous system, aligning the chakras. The energy is distributed throughout the nadis and into the entire energy body.
There are many nuances and degrees of difficulty in this practice including use of bandhas, keeping the fingers together, arm/hand placement, focus, yogic state of mind and lengthy repetition that all add to the overall energetics of the practice. It accommodates beginners as well as advanced practitioners.
Talasana teaches us how to practice vinyasa krama. "It's grounding, it's rooting, it's balancing. It works on focusing the mind. It teaches the student how to move with the breath. It teaches the student how to slow down. What it mostly does is start to grow the energy (pranic force) in the body to prepare them for the practice to come......" Pam Johnson, Vinyasa Krama lineage holder
Practicing on a daily basis help us maintain a healthy body and peaceful mind. The attitude is devotional and serene. A quiet practice moving to the mantra of our breath creating a meditative state while the prana carries us into graceful swanlike movements. As we move into a yogic state the movements then become second nature as the mind is relaxed and we are practicing with ease.
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