Also known as Tadasana in Sanskrit, Mountain Pose is an important part of performing yoga. It is normally performed as a starting place for standing yoga positions.
At first glance, it may seem simple, but don’t be fooled. There are a lot of things that can go wrong in Mountain Pose, which can affect your posture and alignment.
To make sure that you perform this position correctly, we’ll cover how to do Mountain Pose properly in this article. You’ll also find some of the benefits this pose can have on both the mind and body.
What is Mountain Pose?
A mountain brings up connotations of being strong, balanced, and sturdy. These are similar qualities that you’ll try to mimic within Mountain Pose. It’s an important position in yoga, as it acts as the center of all standing poses.
When this position is performed correctly, some muscles should be working hard to keep you stable, while others must be gentle and relaxed.
Benefits Of Mountain Pose
Tadasana uses every muscle in the body, which can improve your posture over time. It’s known for making your thighs, ankles, glutes, and abdominals stronger.
Your muscles aren’t the only thing working, as your brain plays a huge part too. In this pose, breathing should be deep, smooth, and even. This helps to keep our minds calm and focused as we carry out the pose.
When Mountain Pose is performed regularly, it can help alleviate back pain and posture issues. It can help individuals with flat feet, and has also been known to help with sciatica pain.
How To Do Mountain Pose Instructions
As Mountain Pose requires you to focus on balance, do not perform this pose if you often experience migraines, low blood pressure, or insomnia.
Only stretch yourself as far as you are capable of, working within your limits. As always, consult with your doctor before trying out any new exercise program.
Begin by standing upright with your feet together. Place your arms by your side and keep your weight evenly distributed across your feet. Continue taking steady deep breaths, in and out.
Press your big toes together, then lift all of your toes again, spreading them out as you do so. Place your toes back down on the mat so you are evenly supported. You can separate your heels if your ankles are causing you issues.
Focusing on your feet and calves, root your feet so that all their corners are firmly pressing into the ground.
Lift your ankles and the arches of your feet upwards, then rotate your outer shins slightly towards each other.
Find your quadriceps, which are the muscles on the front of your thigh. Lift them up and back, raising your kneecaps in the process. Turn your thighs towards each other so that your sit bones start to widen.
Don’t round your back, but lightly engage your core, pulling your belly inwards. Raise the back of your thighs making sure that your buttocks are relaxed.
Open your chest so your shoulders are in line with your hips. Your hip bones should be pointing straight forward, not upwards or downwards. Pull your belly in slightly.
To release tension in your shoulders, shrug them up to your ears, then move them back down.
Allow your arms to fall by your side, keeping a slight bend in your elbows. Rotate your hands so that your palms are facing forward.
Elongate your neck. Keep your chin parallel to the ground so that it isn’t raised or tucked to your chest. Think of the top of your head rising upward so that you are standing tall. Check that your ears, shoulders, hips, and ankles are all in line with each other.
Let your spine become longer as you continue breathing deeply. Look straight in front of you, keeping your gaze on one point. Stay within the pose, holding it from 30 seconds to a whole minute.
Mountain Pose Modifications
Mountain Pose requires being aware of how your body is aligned. It may look simple, but many of us aren’t standing up correctly, which can affect how we perform the pose. Here are some modifications to try if you are struggling with Mountain Pose.
If you are pregnant, feel free to keep your feet wider apart. This will lower your center of gravity so that you are fully balanced.
Similarly, if you start out struggling to balance, try keeping your feet hip-distance apart. Aim to move your feet closer together each time you practice.
If you are a beginner, try the pose against a wall. You’ll know if you are correctly aligned if your shoulders, buttocks, and heels are lightly touching the wall’s surface.
Make sure that your ears are stacked over your shoulders, and that your head isn’t touching the wall.
If you’re finding the pose easier, try closing your eyes. This will make it harder to know if your body is in one line or not.
You can place your hands and arms in several positions. If you want to keep your body aligned, turn your palms inwards. If you want to open up your chest and relieve tension in the shoulders, rotate your palms forwards.
To find your center and balance, keep your palms pressed together in front of your chest. This prayer position is known as Anjali Mudra.
Tips On Performing Mountain Pose
It’s surprising how much can go wrong in Mountain Pose. Here are a few ways that can make it easier to keep upright.
- Get into the pose starting from your feet upwards. Concentrate on your feet, toes, arches, and heels. Then, move slowly upwards along your body. Start being aware of your ankles, then your shins, calves, and thighs. After you’ve gone through your legs, start aligning your tailbone, hips, and belly. Stack your shoulders over your hips, elongate your neck, then keep the top of your head in line with everything else.
- It can be difficult to know if your pelvis is in a neutral position or not. Try thinking of your pelvis as a bowl of water. If your buttocks are sticking out, your hips will be tilted forward and the ‘water’ will spill out of the bowl. If your back is rounded, your hips will be tilted backward and the water will spill in the other direction. The goal is to keep your pelvis in a position where the water won’t spill out of the bowl. If the bowl is steady, your pelvis will be in a neutral position.
- If you are struggling to balance and find your center, try this sequence out. Lean your body forwards slightly, then back the other way. Repeat leaning to the right side, then the left. After this, position your heels, hips, shoulders, and ears all in one line. Keep your weight evenly distributed over both feet.