Q: Is there a simple yoga pose I could practice at home?
Mountain Pose is often the first standing pose taught in yoga it is also known by the sanskrit name of tādāsana or balanced standing pose. This pose or variations are also common in Tai chi and Qigong. It could be described as being the blueprint for all the āsanas(postures) inversions, backbends, twists and forward bends.
It is called Mountain Pose because it promotes an experience of stillness strength, power, adaptability, grace and immovable stability associated with mountains. To embody the mountain suggests steadfast resoluteness on the one hand and fluid impermanence on the other.
In yoga tradition, tādāsana may also be called samasthiti,which suggests even standing or the stand of equanimity.
Although this looks a simple practice, it can be a challenge not to slouch, roll on the feet round your shoulders or put your head to one side. Learning to stand on both feet is a valuable exercise to establish a sense of grounded awareness and centredness.
Improves posture and aligns the spine
Calms the nervous system
Releases tightness and congestion in the feet
Steadies the breath
Builds strength and endurance
Increases strength, power and mobility in the feet, legs and hips, creating a firm support for the spine and torso
Improves blood circulation
Stimulates digestion and elimination
Brings the subtle energies of the body into harmony.
Increases energy and enthusiasm
DESCRIPTION MOUNTAIN 1
- Wear loose comfortable clothing and bare feet, practice indoor or out.
- .Stand with your feet together. Allow your arms to hang by your side palms can face in or out.
- As you press into your heels spread your toes and keep the weight even on all four corners of the feet
- Bend your knees slightly and allow the weight of your body to sink into your feet. Make your feet feel heavy and grounded, experience yourself being supported by the floor.
- Allow your sacrum to be more vertical by aligning with your spine, hips are neutral.
- Maintain your central alignment by slowly straightening your legs.
- Close your eyes or lower your gaze
- Soften your shoulders and feel the spaciousness in your chest
- Elongate your core upwards through the crown of the head
- Soften your jaw and face and elevate the chin as needed to eliminate any strain in the neck
- As you relax you will expand.
- Be still, be motionless, do not move, just be.
- Stand with your feet together and your palms in prayer (namaste)position in front of your chest.
- Ground your feet to the ground as explained in Mountain 1.
- Establish alignment of your centre, do this by swaying forward and back side to side then stop at your centred point.
- Feel the energy moving up your legs but do not lock out your knees. Draw kneecaps up firm the thighs and draw the thighbones backwards, squeeze your inner legs together so your two legs work as one – like a single tree trunk taking root in the earth.
- The more you stretch downwards through your legs, rooting yourself to the earth, the more you will be able to stretch upwards through your arms.
- Breathe smoothly, allowing your chest to gently expand, soften your shoulder blades down towards your waist, elongate your core, direct your naval to your spine, keep your eyes open and your chin level.
- Lace your fingers together, turn hands inside out and rest on top of your head with the palms facing skywards. Keep your elbows backwards in line with your ears, relax your neck and shoulders.
- Stretch your arms straight up as you inhale. Make it feel as though the inhale is causing the movement.
- Feel the two lines of energy: one from the belly down and one from belly upwards through your spine and arms.
- Become as long, tall and thin as possible and reach for the sky.
- Come up on your toes and stay in the pose for a few breaths.
- If you experience excess tension anywhere , make subtle internal adjustments.
- To come out of the pose, exhale as you lower your heels and bring your palms together in prayer position (namaste) on your chest.
- Be here a few moments with your eyes closed. Then lower your arms, stand quietly and experience the moment.
If you have any Yoga or Meditation questions you would like answered please let us know.