Mountain pose is the summit for all-other standing and inverted Yoga Asanas. The principles of Mountain pose lay the foundation for developing yoga skills of alignment, focus and balance. Mountain pose may look simple as if you are just standing there, but this is an active pose which strengthens the legs, back and core, improving posture and mental clarity. Mountain pose is typically positioned at the beginning of the practice or sequence to bring calm to the mind and awareness to the whole body.
To start, stand with the feet hip-width apart, the arms by the sides. Fix the eyes at a point on the wall slightly above the head. Distribute the weight evenly between the feet. Draw down into the heels and lift up through the arches of the feet to straighten the legs. Press the outer edges of the shins towards each other, while rotating the inner thighs towards each other. Tuck the tailbone down and lift up through the core. Draw the shoulders blades down towards the back waist, but lengthen the spine and torso. Broaden the collar bone, lengthen the neck. In the final position the ears, shoulders, hips and ankles should be aligned. To exit the pose, transition into the next posture.
To keep the pelvis neutral and hips square: imagine the hip bones are spotlights, direct them to the wall in front of you, in line with the hips, not up or down.
To ground the feet in Mountain pose, press the balls and sides of the foot sole into the ground. Spread the toes and lift them off the ground, rocking back onto the heels. Replace the toes one at a time onto the floor. Press down into all four corners of the foot.
- Develops physical &mental balance
- Strengthens and tones legs and abdominals
- Strengthens ankle joints
- Improves posture
WATCH OUT FOR
- Slumping: draw belly in slightly
- Loss of balance; practice with hands on chair back or wall, sit in chair
- Severe balance or back problems
- Practice seated in chair
- Practice Standing against a wall
- Practice with hands on wall
- Place hands in Namaste for standing Prayer pose
- Interlock fingers, and turn the palms upward, stretch arms over head and lift onto toes for palm tree
- Interlock fingers, and turn the palms upward, stretch arms over head and bend side to side for swaying palm tree pose
- Practice with eyes closed
- Lift one leg and extend it front and then back
YOGA COUNTER POSES
- Forward Bend (Paschimothanasana)
- Corpse Pose (Savasana)
- Downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Written By: Brenda Hamlet
Brenda Hamlet is a RYT 200 yoga teacher and journalist. More information about Brenda can be found at https://www.facebook.com/brendahamletyoga