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Mountain

Tadasana, or “mountain pose” is the basic standing posture and beginning point for all standing yoga poses. If you can master the refreshing, rejuvenating mountain pose, you will be optimizing the posture of your whole body, which improves overall health. It strengthens your core: the abs, thighs and buttocks, as well as firming your knees and ankles. By strengthening your core, mountain pose improves your balance and stability, which can decrease accidental injuries. It has also proven helpful for people with sciatica.

Get into Mountain Pose

Plant your feet firmly and completely on the ground. The outsides of your big toes should meet, your heels should be spaced apart a little. Lift up and down a little to get your weight spaced evenly across the surfaces of your feet. Imagine both of your feet planted firmly to the ground like tree roots.

Breathe deeply and move your focus to your thighs. Flex them, lifting the kneecap, but do not harden your belly. Gently lift your inner ankles and turn your thighs in a bit to widen your pelvis. Point your tailbone toward the floor, bringing it into the middle of your pelvis.

Moving to your abs, contract them while also flattening your shoulder blades across your back. Lift your sternum up toward the ceiling, but do not force the rest of your ribcage forward. Widen your collarbone, keeping your shoulders parallel to the floor and let your hands hang down. Look directly forward with your gaze also parallel to the floor.

Imagine a string attached to the ceiling going straight to your head, through your neck and spine. The crown of your head should be centered directly over your pelvis, evenly between your hips. Enjoy the pose for 30 seconds to one minute by breathing deeply and naturally, focusing on how the bones in your body are correctly aligned.

Mountain Pose Considerations

Although this is the most basic of all standing poses, talk with your yoga instructor about modifications if you suffer from low blood pressure, insomnia or headaches. After mastering this pose, you can add new elements to it by posing your arms in different ways. For example, you can raise your arms straight above the crown of your head, palms together, fingers interlacing. You can also stand in tadasana with your palms pressed in front of your chest. Ask your yoga instructor for details.