After writing my article on Tadasana, I found that there is a range of information on what Tadasana really means, and why it is called the “mountain pose”. Several of my friends and relatives were telling me one of two seemingly conflicting definitions… tada some said means mountain and others said that it also means tree. So I researched more into this word, and came up with an answer of sorts.
According to the Shivram Apte dictionary, “Taad” in Sanskrit means Mountain. Hence, the meaning of the Tadasana which is Mountain pose. However, it should be spelled Taadasana.
"Taal-Vrksha" in Sanskrit means Palm Tree, and there is an actual Yoga pose called Vrksasana or Tree pose, which is a balancing pose, very different from Taadasana.
Now to address the controversy of Tadasana meaning tree and also meaning mountain… In an Indian Language, derived from Sanskrit, called Marathi, "Taad" means palm tree.
So, Tadasana could very well mean both “palm tree” pose as well as “mountain pose”. The fact is, whether it means tree or mountain really has no consequence.
Both a tree and a mountain designate stability. A mountain has a huge base and has a connotation of being vast, strong and grounded. A tree is also grounded with its strong and vast array of roots which anchor it to the ground. In doing Tadasana, we can reconnect with our bodies and ground ourselves to the earth, just like a tree or a mountain.