There is one greatly overlooked pose in yoga and that’s mountain pose. It works every muscle of the body and should be considered a pose in its own right rather than just as a starting point. It’s vital for good posture and strengthens and firms the body in many ways.
Yoga Mountain Pose and Benefits
When you perform mountain pose (Tadasana) correctly, you stand tall and your posture improves. As such, it will reduce any back pain and also helps reduce or alleviate the pain of sciatica. Mountain pose strengthens the ankles, knees, and thighs while firming and toning the buttocks and abdomen. But just as importantly, it brings a sense of calmness to you and helps offset feelings of stress and external distractions while improving your ability to focus.
Cement Your Foundations
Pay attention to your feet first of all. Make sure they are aligned, consider your heels, toes, and the arches of the feet. If you find it difficult to place your feet together, place them in a comfortable position and gradually move them together over time once balance improves. If you are pregnant, keep your stance wide for balance and stability within the pose.
Now, move your awareness towards your ankles. Then to every part of the legs. Do not keep the knees tense, soften them. Draw your attention up the body to the pelvis, tailbone, and abdomen, avoiding the temptation to arch the back. Keep the core strong, moving your focus to your shoulder blades, chest, shoulders, and arms. Finally, imagine a cord attaching from the top of your head to the ceiling. Do not lean your chin forward. Keep your pose long. Extend the challenge by keeping your eyes closed as you stand tall.
Tips for Performing the Mountain Pose
It is so easy to develop poor posture in life. Practice the mountain pose throughout the day and not just on the yoga mat. Regular practice develops awareness of your posture.
It can help if you place a block between your thighs, just above the knees. Learn to rotate the inner thighs by squeezing the block and this helps with alignment.
Many people slouch and display poor posture much of the time and this can lead to back and neck pain. So, the mountain pose will help you to develop a much better awareness of your posture. It will form the starting point for other standing poses, as well as inversions. When you comprehend the benefits and importance of mountain pose, you become ready for your yoga session much earlier and, focus happens earlier. This maximizes your time on the mat.
Yoga is about working to your own individual strengths and development. You must work at your own pace but, avoid practicing mountain pose if you feel dizzy, if you have low blood pressure or if you experience headaches.