Unlike any species in the animal kingdom, humankind has been given the ability to stand erect as our fundamental posture. According to anthropologists and other scientists , this has allowed the human brain to develop at an accelerated rate.
In honor of this gift of evolution (or of our creator ), we practice Tadasana which is the basic standing pose. With almost prayer-like reverence we study the precision of the placement and action of our feet, legs, hips, chest , etc.
The proper study and practice of Tadasana brings spinal elasticity, lightness of being and an agile mind.
We also honor our exceptional ability to stand by studying and practicing the full gamut of yoga standing poses as well.
Looking from another perspective , we can see how our language uses “stand” to signify certain attitudes in life. For example: “stand on your own two feet;“ “where do you stand on this issue; “I can’t stand tuna fish ”, etc.
Taking this a little further we have the word “understand” which basically means “to stand under”. This is of particular interest because to truly understand a person, ideology, event or thing, one needs the humility and quietness of mind to “stand under it”. Yet one must also have the poise, stability and strength to “with”stand the challenge of understanding. This is especially true when we work at understanding ourselves.
Thus, I feel it important to include standing poses in just about every class- not only because of the way they excavate and liberate compressed, depressed and oppressed areas of our consciousness, but also to honor humankind’s ability to stand and understand.