Yoga is known for involving the execution of many poses. These poses, along with proper breathing techniques, aim to strengthen our bodies and relax our minds. They are one of the reasons why yoga is different from other fitness exercises. Yoga is more on slow-paced and precise movements that require focus while also dabbling with meditation and spirituality. It makes us both physically and mentally stronger to fight our battles every day.
With so many yoga poses being practiced in yoga sequences, one that is rarely missed is the mountain pose tadasana. It is a type of standing position that is usually considered as one of the most basic yoga poses. Keep in mind, however, that there is more than what meets the eye with this.
In this article, we will be discussing everything about the mountain pose including its benefits and proper execution. This is to prove that this particular pose is more than just standing still.
As a Level 1 pose, this is a good start as a Yoga Pose for Beginners.
The role of mountain pose in yoga
Tadasana indicates the idea of standing straight and firm as a mountain, hence its Sanskrit and English names. It does appear easy to do but it does so much more to our bodies than we’d assume. The mountain pose is crucial because it serves as the foundation pose for the other poses. It warms the body up and prepares it for the succeeding positions. If you’d notice in various yoga sequences, most of them start with this pose.
If you consider skipping this pose, don’t. It helps with your body’s proper alignment which is important in executing other poses, especially the more intense and complicated ones.
What is a mountain pose well for?
It’s amazing how by simply doing this pose, you’ll be gaining a lot of benefits. Technically, the mountain pose focuses on improving the muscles on your feet and ankles. However, it also has other benefits such as:
Strengthens your legs, ankles, and knees
This is one of the standing postures that help strengthen your legs at the ankles and knees. It tones the muscles of your legs which is very important in doing all the other yoga poses.
The mountain pose is good for improving your spine and helping you develop correct posture. It tones the chest and the shoulders which leads to a stronger upper back.
Stretching your muscles comfortably
Tadasana is a good way to engage almost all your muscle groups in a not-so-difficult way. It’s very relaxing and relieving. Stretching your muscles can help with low blood pressure.
Lengthens your spine
Mountain pose is great for improving body alignment by lengthening your spine.
Tones your abdominal muscles
As you elongate your body by pulling in the belly, you are engaging your abdominal muscle which eventually tones and firms them.
How to do the mountain pose tadasana
Let’s move on to breaking down the details of how to execute the mountain pose. We’ve laid out a step-by-step guide for you to follow.
To begin the tadasana mountain pose, you must stand with your feet in contact and your heels slightly hip-width apart, and your arms at your sides. Lift and spread the toes and balls of your feet before laying them gently on the floor. Rock from side to side back and forth before gradually staying still. Remember to balance your weight evenly and imagine that there’s a thread that’s pulling the crown of the head up.
You must relax your toes and then lift the arches of your feet. Pull your feet and shins toward the center of your body.
You firm your thighs and raise your kneecaps without tightening your lower belly. Then, lift your inner ankles as you imagine that there’s a line of energy that flows from your inner thighs all the way up to your groins until it reaches through your torso, neck, up to the crown of your head. Your inner thighs must be turned inward.
Lengthen your tailbone as you pull the lower part of your abdomen up toward the navel. The mountain pose aims to improve our posture so you must concentrate on your spine at this point.
Widen your collarbones and relax the shoulders and pull them slightly backward from your ears. Widen your shoulder blades across and release them towards your lower back. You must lift the tip of your sternum toward the ceiling. Until now, your arms must remain hanging at the sides of your upper body.
Keep the crown of your head aligned with your pelvis with your chin’s underside parallel to the floor. You may soften your gaze or close your eyes as you take a deep breath and focus on nothing but yourself.
As you inhale, slowly raise your arms straight overhead as if you are trying to reach for the sky. Lengthen your forearms and stretch the biceps. Lift and stretch your fingers as you keep your feet together and point your toes forward. Thighs slightly apart is a must. You can also opt for your palms facing each other just like in a prayer position. Make sure that your abdominal muscles are engaged as you pull from underneath your ribcage. Stretch your legs and engage your knee caps as well. Elongate your spine.
Maintain steady and calm breathing. With every exhale, you will feel your spine elongating. Keep your gaze focused forward. Hold this position for up to one minute before releasing.
Contraindications of the mountain pose
Mountain pose yoga may be a simple and helpful type of yoga pose, but it’s not always for everybody. There are certain precautions that some of us must take especially if you have the following conditions:
Inability to stand
Some people are unable to stand on their feet for a long period of time. People like this aren’t allowed to do standing poses because it will only do more harm than good.
Weak leg muscles
You will feel the engagement of your leg muscles as you’re standing, so those who have weak ones might not stand a chance especially if they don’t modify the pose to their capability.
If you are experiencing a severe migraine, it’s hard to move let alone stand up. It would be best to avoid this yoga pose not until you feel better.
Having a weak spine makes you vulnerable to this pose because carrying your body weight may cause some strain or stress to your spine.
Finding your balance
Doing this pose teaches you something about proper body alignment. Here, you will really listen to your body and find the right balance by distributing your weight evenly.
Different variations of the mountain pose
Do not be fooled by the simplicity of this standing pose; it’s still something that you can experiment with. If the method above isn’t enough or resonating with you, there are other ways you can make mountain pose more interesting or suitable for your taste.
If you can’t stretch your arms overhead, you can choose to place your hands in front of your chest with your palms together. This hand positioning is called the “Anjali mudra”. Then you can close your eyes and just feel the flow of energy inside of you.
You can also try just letting your arms hang on your sides with your palms against your outer thighs.
Another thing you can do is to stretch your arms straight in front of you instead of overhead. You can interlace your fingers as you do so.
There are many ways you can modify or execute the mountain pose. It’s totally up to you where you are most comfortable. The important thing is you maintain its essence and can feel its benefits. If you want to know about more variations, you can always ask your yoga teacher to show you the reins.
Why is mountain pose easy?
Mountain is easy because it’s a starting pose. It begins your yoga practice routine and helps you find your way through the other yoga poses. It makes you feel at ease and comfortable with yoga. But even though it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s any less important. Without the mountain pose, it will be challenging for you to do the other yoga poses because you feel more unprepared.
Are you ready to start your yoga routine with the tadasana mountain pose?
The mountain pose is a great yoga pose to start your yoga practice. Once you have mastered it, you can do any of the standing poses. It’s good to engage in this neutral position and experience all of the wonderful things that it can do for your body. Yoga may be more subtle and gentle compared to other forms of workout, but it doesn’t change the fact that it requires preparation. Sign up with our yoga studio in Singapore today!