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What Is Mountain Pose?
Mountain pose (or Tadasana, from the Sanskrit words “tada” meaning “mountain,” and “asana” meaning “pose”) is a basic yoga pose where the yogi plants their feet on the ground as their body stands firm and straight. Mountain pose is often used as a foundational pose for many other standing postures, like tree pose or the warrior poses.
3 Benefits of Mountain Pose
Although a basic standing pose, mountain pose has many benefits, such as:
- Promotes body awareness. Mountain pose involves keeping your body actively aligned, which requires a degree of bodily awareness. You must be conscious of the shape of your limbs and spine to keep yourself in alignment throughout the pose, which can help improve your posture and balance.
- Strengthens lower body. Mountain pose engages your lower body and can help your ankles, knees, and glutes.
- Provides a foundation for other asanas. The mountain pose is a starting position for many standing yoga postures. Learning how to do the mountain pose properly can help establish a more sturdy and proper foundation for both beginning and advanced moves.
How to Do Mountain Pose
This yoga pose may appear straightforward, but it does require active muscle engagement. Here a step-by-step guide for performing mountain pose:
- Get into position. Your feet should either be hip-width apart or together with the base of your big toes touching (depending on your balance). Keep your back straight and your arms at your side. Lift and spread your toes, then shift your weight to find the proper balance.
- Engage the leg muscles. Firm your quadriceps, elongate your tailbone, and lift your kneecaps slightly. Keep your legs straight but avoid locking your knees, which can place unnecessary stress on your joints. Pinch your shoulder blades and align them with your hips.
- Lengthen your body. The crown of your head should extend towards the ceiling along with your sternum without pushing your lower ribs forward. Widen your collarbones, and keep your arms at your side with your palms facing frontwards. You can also put your hands in the prayer position in front of your chest, also known as Anjali Mudra.
4 Tips for Performing Mountain Pose
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For help with performing mountain pose properly, check out the following tips:
- Mind your feet. Some people prefer to keep their feet together, while others find it easier to keep them hip-width apart. The position you choose largely depends on how well you can balance.
- Use a wall. If finding your center or maintaining balance is challenging, try aligning your back against a wall to help get you into the proper position.
- Imagine the energy. Some yoga teachers suggest imagining a line of energy that starts in the feet, traveling up through the inner thighs and lower back into the core, and exiting through the head’s crown. This imaginary line of energy helps yogis align their spine and create a straight current, keeping their bodies in the correct stance.
- Close your eyes. Closing your eyes while performing mountain pose adds an additional challenge because you lose the visual frame of reference that helps you balance, forcing you to rely on your body to maintain the posture.
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