Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Mountain pose is an amazing foundational pose. It is a versatile pose, in that you can practice practically anywhere. It is a pose that often used to transition into other standing postures, but is also wonderful to do by itself. Mountain pose is a deceptively simple pose. Just standing? How hard can that be? Within this pose there is an incredible network of muscle activation. Practicing mountain pose can bring forth a plethora of health benefits such as improved alignment of the body, statica relief, stress reduction, and can create an amazing awareness and connection with your breath.
[Before beginning any exercise program or making any health changes, please consult with your health care provider. As always, please be mindful and listen to your body.]
How to Practice Mountain Pose
To practice this posture, it can help to find a focal point (drishti), to help with balance. Begin by standing with your feet hip width apart (or feet together). Lift your toes, so that your weight is evenly distributed across the four corners of your feet (four-part equal standing), with your weight spread over the ball joint of your big toe, the ball joint of your pinky toe, and the two back corners of your heels. Once you feel comfortable here, relax your toes back down.
Begin to draw energy up through the arches of your feet, all the way up the body, through the crown of your head. Allowing your arms to rest at your sides, or engaging them by spreading your fingers and turning your palms to face forward, or you may like to bring your hands, with palms together at your heart center (anjali mudra).
Relax your shoulders, allowing them to melt down your back. Opening through the chest and lifting the heart. You should feel or imagine energy lifting through the front of your body, and you should feel/imagine a grounding energy through the back side of your body, with your tailbone lengthening downward.
Engaging your thighs, find a slight inward rotation of your quads.
You can continue to focus on your drishti, or you may choose to gently close your eyes, which may challenge your sense of balance.
How's your alignment? Check/feel that your head is aligned over your heart and your heart is aligned over your pelvis. Connect with your breath. Stay here and breath for as long as you like, and when you are ready, with an exhale, relax out of the posture, or transition mindfully into another yoga pose (asana).
A great pose to practice after learning mountain pose is tree pose.
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