Tada means mountain in Sanskrit. With regard to the symbolism or essence of this asana to me, it represents a strong, noble mountain, standing firm over the centuries; representing the essence of stillness. The asana represents a sort of timelessness and strength, being grounded, supported and at ease, like a mountain.
I encourage you to practice this asana everyday for a week and write down your observations. Over the seven days, I became more aware of my central energy channels opening up as my body became more into alignment. I became more aware and conscious of my body and the alignment of my different parts of my body in relation to each other. I became more sensitive to my body being out of alignment in daily life, such as slouching while I was sitting. As I lifted from my chest in tadasana and imagined a light emanating from my heart centre, I was able to integrate this into my daily life, and practice tadasana while waiting in line for groceries or playing with my daughter. I even got to practice tadasana on Mount Ruapehu while looking towards Ngāruhoe, which was very special.
Practicing tadasana made me feel more confident, body aware and ready to face the world. Emotionally, it lifted my mood as I lifted my chest. It also improved my breathing. I found Donna Farhi’s description of yielding to the earth very helpful (2011). She talks about letting your weight collapse down into the earth, visualizing an hour glass and your weight pouring down like the sand. Then she describes pushing the earth away and really feeling gravity; tightening and lifting the leg muscles, drawing the abs in, lifting the chest and spine against gravity (Farhi, 2011). She emphasizes the importance of finding a balance between the two – giving one’s weight and body to the earth and then feeling the rebound that lifts the body upward, emphasizing the importance of not having too much or too little tone (Farhi, 2011, p. 37).