Mountain Pose (Tadasana) is the foundation for every other standing pose in yoga. Mastering this pose teaches you how to stand properly in everyday life and helps improve every other posture that you do.
Mountain Pose is the foundation for every other standing pose in yoga. Mastering this pose teaches you how to stand properly in everyday life and helps improve every other posture that you do.
(Pronounced as "TAH-DAHS-anna")
Tada is the Sanskrit word for mountain. Just like a mountain reaches up from the earth to the heavens, remaining strong and unmovable, you should be able to keep your body firm and perfectly upright in this basic standing posture.
Start by standing on your yoga mat with your feet together. Your big toes and heels should touch each other. Spread out the toes and stretch them flat against the floor. Shift your weight around without moving your feet until you feel that you are pressing the heels and the balls of your feet equally into the mat.
Engage your thigh muscles, pulling the thighs up away from the kneecaps. Your thighs will turn in slightly toward each other. Do not sink down the arches of your feet. Rather, press down firmly through your big toes and try to lift up the muscles of your inner arch. When your arches feel strong, focus on straightening your posture and lengthening your back so that you form a straight line from your heels to the back of your head. Tuck your tailbone in to keep it in a straight line with the rest of your spine.
Pull your lower abdomen in without over-tightening your stomach muscles. Lift your sternum and chest up and slightly forward. Tuck your shoulder blades firmly into your back to support this lift. When you have properly lifted the chest, then the neck will stay back and naturally lengthen up while staying in line with the rest of your spine.
Double check that you are not putting too much weight over your toes or your heels now by leaning slightly forward and then backward until you feel your weight resting in the middle of your feet. Adjust your head so that the bottom of your chin is parallel to the floor. Relax the throat muscles and facial muscles. Look straight ahead. Let your arms extend down as they hang by your sides. Your palms should be in line with the middle of the sides of your thighs. Point your fingers downward.
While every yoga posture begins with standing in Tadasana, it is also a good habit to perform Tadasana on its own when you start your daily practice. Hold the posture for 30 seconds to a minute while breathing normally.
You can improve your posture by practicing Tadasana with your back against a flat wall. The backs of your heels, your buttocks, shoulder blades and the outside edges of your shoulders should stay in contact with the wall. The back of your head should be within an inch or so from the wall.
After you assume Tadasana, close your eyes. Feel the balance over the center of your feet and all the way up your spine without relying on what you see in your external environment.
To get a deeper stretch in Tadasana, try this new arm position. You can stretch your arms straight up above your head and interlace the fingers. Then turn your hands and push your palms up to face the ceiling. This elongates your spine further and expands your chest and shoulders more.
While you stand in Tadasana, ask a partner to check your alignment. They should look at you from the side. The middle of your neck, the center of your shoulder, your lower back, knees and heels should all be in one straight line.
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