SYMBOLISM IN YOGA POSES – THE MOUNTAIN

«Stillness is a state of polarity that always has movement as its complement”. I Ching

Ocata Beach. Photo by Xavi Padrós

On this occasion I felt the need to practise one of the most basic and profound standing asanas, the Tadasana, the “Mountain” posture, with the objective of building a strong and solid structure.

The idea was brought up during my sadhana, my personal experience of yoga practice, and while holding this pose I had a revealing vision and realised that all the categories I combine in Holistic Psychology have a common goal: the study of the Self.

According to Ayurveda, which defines the meaning of Prakriti as our inherent individual nature, in Iyengar Yoga, the Svādhyāya, or the study of Self as in Jungian Analytical Psychology through the individuation process, is a path towards the knowledge of the Self that can be simple yet complex. This way of living implies commitment and responsibility towards ourselves, making us pause to take the time for self- observation.

While holding the Tadasana we are standing still and quiet, completely present in the moment at hand, resting for just an instant in the “now” without needing to know what might come next. The mountain symbolises the return to a state of internal stillness. We build a strong, firm foundation and establish the contact to access a more spiritual, higher knowledge.

In the I Ching, or the Book of changes, there is a hexagram that speaks about this:

“The image is the sign of the mountain, the bridge between the Sky and the Earth. Masculine energy is in the upper level, where it aspires to find harmony with its nature; feminine energy is in the lower level, towards which its movement is oriented. This way there is stillness, because movement comes to its natural end. Real stillness means keeping quiet when it is time to be quiet, and moving when it is time to move”.

In the practice of Yoga we work on this posture to find our own
internal vision provided by this element of Nature.