Pose of the Month, Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Mountain PoseOne of the original poses from which all other poses are based is mountain pose or the Sanskrit Tadasana.  This seemingly easy pose has many fine points of alignment.

Start by standing upright.  Notice how your body stands without any conscious effort.  Just stand as you do.  Now, let’s build mountain pose.  With your feet hip width apart and parallel to each other, spread your toes apart and settle them down creating a base for your mountain.

Inhale and exhale softly through the nose.  On your next exhale slightly bend the knees then on the inhale straighten them.  Continue this movement with the breath several times to gain awareness of the knees and notice the energy built by the movement against gravity.  Now allow the knees to straighten as you keep a soft micro bend in them.

Draw the tops of your thighs back so the hips stick out in back.  Then, balance the backward action of the thighs by lengthening down from the tail bone drawing the tailbone underneath and up, a backward tilt to the hips. This action moves the hips downward and creates a lifting action below the navel bringing a center of power and readiness to the core.

Keeping the breath moving  roll the shoulders forward, up, back and down allowing them to come to rest on your back.  This opens the chest and allows for deeper breathing.  With your eyes softly gazing at the horizon tuck the chin in slightly to position the ears over the shoulders and aligning the spine over the hips, knees and feet.  Breath in and out while holding a firm and soft mountain pose anchored to the earth yet soaring up to the sky.

This pose grounds  the body and aligns the spin while toning the abdominal muscles and buttocks.  It opens the chest to allow for deeper breathing and it generally improves posture.  As well it strengthens the arches, ankles, knees and the thighs.  Standing in mountain with purpose improves mental focus and develops will power.

Several other variations of mountain include standing with arms overhead either parallel to each other or hands clasped with fingers interlaced.                          

So find yourself in mountain pose at the beginning of class and get ready to do
yoga!