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Many ashtanga classes begin with the students standing in tadasana, or mountain pose, and most instructors return to tadasana between series of standing poses to reset the body for the next ashtanga posture. To get the most of out of tadasana, start by grounding yourself firmly through your heels, then lift your toes and spread them apart before lowering them to the mat. Firm your shoulder blades inward to help you stand tall and think about reaching the crown of the head towards the ceiling. Your gaze should be straight ahead with your chin slightly tucked so you can create length in the back of your neck, and your hands should be down by your sides, with your fingers pointing towards the floor.
Tadasana is an active pose, and you should feel your muscles working to reach up through the head and down through the heels. Pull up on your kneecaps to engage your quadriceps muscles and pull your belly button towards your spine. As always, breathe deeply and evenly.