How to do Mountain Pose
Feet together comfortably or shoulder width apart. Stand with feet parallel and hip width apart with arms alongside your body. Press your heel, the base of your big toe, and your pinky toe down.
Reach your arms over your head sideways fingertips up. Arms shoulder distance apart, palms facing in, and rotate your pinkies in.
Open your arms wide or shoulder distance depending on your intensity preference.
Hug your legs towards each other. Lengthen your tailbone down. Draw your front ribs down and in. Lift your chest. Aim to bring your pelvis, rib cage, and shoulders in line with one another. Relax your shoulders away from your ears. Tilt your chin slightly back and in to lengthen your neck Breathe, inhale from ground up and exhale down to the ground.
Exhale and bring your arms down by your side
In Samasthiti the feet may be placed together or sometimes placed with ankles under hip joints which are each equal distance from the midline of the body, arms may be alongside your body or in prayer position.
In Tadasana feet may be placed under your hip joints or with feet together, palms may be placed alongside your body facing inward or slightly turned away, in some lineages arms may be overhead. Tune into what your needs are and what works for you.
The traditional focus point for Tadasana is at the end of the nose, also known as the Nasagra Drishti. Some individuals may find it better to draw attention inwards by focusing on the Bhrumadhya Drishti, or the space in between the eyebrows. Feel free to explore what works best for you.
Benefits of Mountain Pose in Yoga
- Teaches basic alignment principles.
- Activates and strengthens stabilizing muscles in the body.
- Creates stability of pelvic and shoulder girdles.
- Improves postures by focusing on the alignment of bones, joints and muscles.
- May reduce back and sciatica pain through improved posture and alignment.
- Improves focus and mind/body connection.
- Improves your body's proprioception or awareness of movement, location and action.
- Allows for clear breathing and circulation through improved alignment.
Tadasana is an excellent beginner pose for teaching basic alignment principles. By becoming consciously aware of different points of the body and their relation to each other, you will become more accustomed to making minor adjustments in more advanced postures.
Additional Mountain Pose Options
- Place a strap around outer thighs for stability and strength
- Place a block between the thighs for stability and strength
- Knees may be bent for comfort
- Place heels and spine against a wall for support
- Bend knees or separate feet for stability, alignment or comfort
- Avoid hyperextension in the knee joint
Muscles used in Mountain Pose
Mountain pose has a primary focus on the core, both lower back and abdominal muscles, in addition to the upper and lower body. Your arms, shoulders, quads, and more will all be engaged in this full-body pose.
Facts about Mountain Pose
Mountain Pose / Samsthiti
Commonly Used in:
Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga
Safety Reminders for Mountain Pose
It is best to find a neutral pelvis. Avoid tilting the pelvic bowl too far back, called a posterior pelvic tilt, which results from the hips falling too far back and the upper body too far forward.
Alternatively, an anterior pelvic tilt is equally as bad in the opposite direction. This is where the pelvic bowl is tilted too far forward, resulting from the hips falling too far forward and the upper body too far back.
If you begin to feel lightheaded or become dizzy, carefully return to a normal standing position and sit down.
Instructors should watch for a pale face in his or her students. If circulation slows or ceases to the upper extremities, a lost gaze may appear over a student’s eyes. Sometimes this may happen due to low blood pressure, certain medications, coming up from a forward fold quickly.
If bringing your feet together feels uncomfortable, simply create some space between your feet to allow for balance, alignment and stability.