Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

mountain pose (via flickr

Pronunciation: tah-DAHS-uh-nuh
Pose Type: Standing Pose

Every yogi knows that while it looks like you’re just standing in place, Mountain Pose is actually a very active pose involving a great deal of muscle awareness and attention. Tadasana, when correctly executed, works every muscle in the body and when practiced regularly, it can help reduce back pain while strengthening the thighs, knees, ankles, abdomen, and buttocks.

Mountain pose is contained within many sequences, but it is also used at the beginning and end of a yoga practice to ground. Many yogis include this asana as a moment of rest during their practice because it improves focus and concentration. Focus on the stilling effect achieved in Tadasana and you may discover that you begin the next sequence with a greater sense of relaxation and attention.

Pose Sequence

This pose is an active standing pose done with your feet firmly grounded on the mat:

  1. Start by placing your feet hip-width apart with your heels turned slightly outward to let your weight rest on your toes.
  2. Your arms can hang down by your sides with palms facing forward or rest in prayer position.
  3. Move your pelvis away from your lower back by drawing your ribs in.
  4. Relax the shoulders and steady your breathing.
  5. Pull downward through your heels and lift the top of your thighs up and back to engage the quadriceps (the front thigh muscles).
  6. Reach the crown of your head toward the sky to make yourself long.
  7. You can gaze through the third eye or, for more challenge, close your eyes.

One of the best tips for getting this pose right is to work the pose from the ground up. Noticing and aligning the feet, then the ankles, the shins, and so forth. To find your center of balance, lean slightly forward and back several times until you find the center.

Benefits of Mountain Pose

The benefits of practicing Mountain Pose include:

  • Bringing calm focus to the yogi mind
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves concentration

You can practice Mountain Pose many times during a normal day: while standing in line, in an elevator, or brushing your teeth. Once you’ve got the alignment down, you may find yourself standing and sitting straighter and taller throughout the day with less back pain and clear, calm mind.

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