yoga poses

Mountain Pose – build a strong foundation

Our posture influences our mood and our breath. When we stand at the top of the mat in Mountain pose (Tadasana in Sanskrit), rooting down through the feet, we have the opportunity to notice our posture and our postural habits built over the years. Noticing is the first step and helps us built new habits which we can take off the mat into our daily life.

Guidelines

Come onto the toes as you inhale and then drop the heels down on the exhale. Go back and forth few times finding your centre of gravity. Once centered, press down and out with the feet to crate stability in the hips. Draw the kneecaps slightly to activate the legs. Pelvis is neutral.  Firm the belly into the core without hardening. As you inhale roll the shoulders up, and as you exhale roll the shoulders back and down the spine. Chin slightly tucked in. Imagine you have a string at the top of the head that is pulling you lightly up creating space between vertebraes of the spine. Close your eyes.

Breathe in expanding through the chest. Take a long breath out.

Take a deep inhale allowing your whole body to expand with the breath and release on the exhale.

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Common errors

  • Overarching lumbar spine (“duck butt”) – sticking the butt out compresses lower spine. Drop the tailbone towards the floor to bring the pelvis into neutral position.
  • Abdominal muscles disengaged – draw the belly button in without hardening.
  • Slouching, head and shoulders going forward, upper back rounded – keep the chest open by engaging the back muscles, draw the shoulder blades together and then down the spine.

Modifications

  • To find stability and firm foundations stand with your feet hip distance apart.
  • Close your eyes to challenge yourself.
  • Stand against the wall to find your alignment with shoulder blades, sacrum and back of the heels touching the wall.

Chakras

In order to rise up from the base of the spine, we need to establish stable foundations. From energetical point of view a dual action is taking place – rooting into the ground through the feet, pushing down with the legs, and drawing the energy up through the roots into the body. The lower part of the body is strong and we are lifted through the upper part. Mountain Pose activates Muladhara (Root Chakra) as we are grounding ourselves and spreading the roots into the earth.

Benefits

  • Grounding
  • Develops awareness of our posture

Photo credit: Unsplash

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