Today I bring you a Mountain Pose Tutorial. Mountain Pose, or Tadasana, is a staple posture that appears so simple from the outside, but I find that because it appears so simple, it’s easy to gloss over the details and end up just standing there. But a nice strong Mountain Pose can offer you a place to reconnect with the breath, with your intention, and with the earth. It’s one that, when practiced mindfully, brings me strength and grounding. I hope this tutorial helps to bring you the same.
Getting Into the Pose:
Come to standing with the feet parallel directly under the hips. Feel the quads lightly engage to keep the knees from locking and root the heels and balls of the feet firmly down into the ground as you lift just the toes up. Notice how this simple movement activates the arches of the feet, the ankles, and the inner legs.
Keep that energetic feeling as you spread the toes wide and begin to lower them back down one at a time. The arches may start to feel more active and as if they are lifted even higher above the floor. This will help to encourage the weight to distribute evenly throughout the feet, giving you a sense of steadiness and grounding.
Bring the hands to the hips and tip the pelvis forward and back a couple times, settling into a neutral spine with the tailbone neither tucked, nor extended back. Bring some awareness into the core of the body, engaging just enough to help keep the spine neutrally aligned and the low back protected.
Release the hands to the sides and draw the shoulders gently back and down away from the ears. You should feel a gentle stretch across the chest as the collar bones widen apart. Allow the palms to face forwards and feel the neck become long as you send your energy all the way out through the crown of the head. Imagine that you just grew 2 inches taller.
Anjali Mudra Hands can be used in this posture as well – sometimes referenced as samastithi or Equal Standing Pose. This variation is generally used in transitions between vinyasas but can be used at any time in place of traditional mountain pose as a matter of preference. Simply bring the palms to press gently together at the heart. Continue to draw shoulders gently back and release them down away from the ears. I like to occasionally bring my finger tips to my forehead here to refocus on my intention or dedication.
Bring The Toes Together for another variation of Mountain pose, which again is really a matter of preference. If bringing the toes together causes any discomfort in the knees, or low back, then avoid this variation. If the toes are together, keep a very slight space between the heels.For those of you, like me, with a tendency to hyperextend the knees, be very mindful in this variation as this increased internal rotation can sometimes exacerbate the hyperextension. Be sure to keep the quads engaged or just simply take a different variation.
Tips, Tricks, and Modifications:
Be very mindful of locking the knees in any variation of Mountain Pose, which can both put excess pressure in the knee joint as well as cause compression in the low back. When in doubt bring a slight micro-bend into the knees.
You can practice this posture with the gaze fixed to get a very grounding effect. You may also choose to close the eyes and look inward for a few breaths here, perhaps to reconnect with your intention.