Mountain Pose Step by Step and Benefits
Mountain pose or Tadasana (pronounced as tah-DAHS-ana) as it is called in Sanskrit is a yoga asana to improve the posture. Along with the posture, it helps in improving balance, focus, and composure.
Yoga has gained immense popularity in today’s world that is seeking a lifestyle change to achieve wellness. With the help of Yoga, you can focus on various aspects of well being like flexibility, weight management, etc.
Although medication might help in various health issues some health problems can be avoided with an improved lifestyle, and Yoga can guide you in your journey to a better lifestyle (1).
While there are myriads of Yoga poses with different benefits, this write-up focuses on the Mountain Pose.
Note: This article is fact-checked by Nimish Deshpande Certified Yoga Professional.
What is the mountain pose?
Mountain Pose is considered to be the basis of all the standing posture of Yoga asanas. The simplicity and ease make it a great yoga pose for beginners. While it looks like a basic posture it is a profound pose with many variations.
The active pose helps to cultivate a sense of awareness from head to toe and improves posture, alignment, body balance, and composure.
The handstand and headstand pose originated from Tadasana. If you want to master the art of yoga asanas, it is important to learn it correctly.
It will help to easily adapt and maintain the alignment for various standing and inversion yoga poses.
Difficulty Level: Beginner
Key Benefits: Posture alignment, balance, composure
Origin of the pose
The origin of the mountain pose or Tadasana has several mythological philosophies related to it. The Sanskrit connotation symbolizes the pose where a person is standing as a firm and erect mountain.
Mountains have always held a pious and respectable position in the hearts of people. Whether it is Mt.Olympia or the peaks of Nanda Devi, Kanchenjunga, and Mt.Kailash, these giant summits have the essence of vitality and piousness.
Mountain Pose can be perceived as a blueprint of the stance and strength of the mountains that help to improve the postural habits. Like a mountain stands with a sense of serenity and strength, the pose resembles it by instilling stability, solace, and fulfillment in our body.
Although Tadasana requires a minor proportion of physical effort, it enables you to connect with your inner self and lift you spiritually. Mountain pose makes difficult poses like heads and handstand quite attainable with practice.
Here is a step by step guide on how to do a Mountain Pose with correct posture.
Start with standing in a straight stance with joining your feet together. The arms should be resting at your sides. While standing, distribute your entire body weight evenly across the balls and arches of both feet.
To ease the distribution of weight, you can rock back and forth as well as side to side slightly. When the swaying motion becomes still, the bodyweight becomes evenly balanced.
While standing still, keep breathing in a steady and rhythmic manner. Draw your conscience for inward awareness.
Try to set your focus on the existing moment by detaching yourself from all the worries and concerns of your daily life. After the passage of a few minutes, you can feel the stress level going down.
Slightly separating your heels, put pressure on the big toes at the same time. Gently lift the big toes while spreading them apart from each other.
Put the toes back on their original position one by one. If you are facing it hard to retain your standing posture with your feet close to each other, you can place them six inches apart.
With a focus on the heels, draw them down while straightening your legs. The feet should be attached firmly to the ground in such a way that pressure is on all four corners of the feet.
Lift the ankles and arches of the feet, press the outer shin muscles towards each other.
The top of the thighs is brought up and back while occupying the quadriceps muscles. Engage the thighs in a rotating motion moving them in the inward direction and widening the sit bones.
With your tailbone tucked slightly, avoid rounding your lower back. Release the buttocks muscles and raise the posterior portion of your thighs.
The hips should be steady with the help of an imaginary center line of the body.
The pelvic region should be brought back to the neutral position with your stomach slightly inwards. The front hip bones should not point downward or upward rather they should be straight forward.
Firstly, with each inhalation, elongate throughout the trunk of the body. Secondly, with an exhalation, waiver the shoulder blades away from the head and bringing them towards the back of your waist.
The collarbones should be in a perpendicular stance while keeping the shoulders aligned with the sides of the body.
Furthermore, press the shoulder blades towards the back ribs but prevent them from seeing together.
Both the arms should be kept straight with fingers widened, and firm tricep muscles. Allow the inner arms to twirl inwards.
Elongate the neck region with your ears, buttocks, shoulders, and ankles should be aligned in a perfectly straight line.
Keep in mind that throughout the pose, the breathing should be even and smooth. While doing the pose, you must feel your spine muscles expanding with each exhalation.
Focus your soft gaze towards the horizontal line and try to hold this position for a minute.
To ensure you maintain the correct alignment, make your palms face inward. Then while you turn your palms forward, your chest and shoulders will broaden.
If you are facing difficulty to calm your mind, join your palms in a prayer position in front of the chest. The movement of arms and palms in various positions during Mountain Pose will help you to achieve the correct stance for doing the asana.
To increase the difficulty or challenge of the pose, you can close your eyes. It will help you to dive deep into the inner self. Your focus will be centralized towards the stretching and pulling of your different body muscles.
The pose is all about maintaining your calmness and correcting the posture. Do not perform this asana in a hurry.
The stretching demands slow movements to avoid strain on the muscles.
Variations & Modifications
Mountain Pose is the footing of all standing as well as inversion poses. It helps to inculcate a good postural habit by altering the alignment of the body.
The changes can take some time to acquaint. Here are some modification or variation tips that can help you to quickly adapt to the pose.
Use the wall to support your back. While doing so, make sure that the lower back curves slightly and the heels, shoulders, and hips are in contact with the wall.
The head should be straight and ears in alignment with the shoulders.
Pregnant women with baby bumps should widen their feet enough so that they are able to stand stable.
While standing, if you are facing difficulty with your feet together, then you can position them hip-distance apart. With practice, you will learn to maintain balance with feet close to each other.
Make sure you don’t overdo this asana during pregnancy, you can consult your doctor if you can perform yoga.
If you are suffering from any spine-related or bone/ muscle problem better to avoid doing this asana without consultation. If anytime you feel discomfort stop doing it immediately.
Tadasana or the mountain pose yoga yields various health benefits when practiced with different variations. The most significant benefit is that Tadasana helps to restore balance and maintain stability.
It helps to coordinate the mind and functions of the body. Some other benefits of Tadasana are as follows:
Provide a good stretch
With Mountain Pose, most of the muscles from your legs, stomach, and hands are subjected to stretching.
It leads to the spanning of the muscles. It improves the flexibility of the muscles and helps to prevent internal muscle injuries. This asana is a good yoga pose for constipation.
The toning of the torso and the shoulder blades help to rectify the posture. It eliminates bad posture habits and provides a strong upper back.
Tone abdominal muscle
The spine and back muscles are kept upright by straining the belly muscles. A good stretch to your abdominal region helps to improve digestion and keep you away from various health issues.
Lengthen the spine
As you stretch the body up, your spine gets stimulus. This exercise would help in relieving minor back-related issues and contribute to increasing the height of kids.
Strengthening the ankles and the feet
The posture requires a firm pressure on the foot and ankles. It results in strong legs with tough ankles and knees.
With years of practice, the legs get well-toned and become suitable to support all other standing asanas poses.
Relief from Sciatica
Sciatica patients suffer from constant back pain in the spine and lower waist. It makes sitting and standing a cumbersome task for them.
Tadasana helps them relieve the Sciatica pain as they correct the posture and strengthens the spine and back muscles.
Reduction of flat feet
The pose includes stretching of the foot arches while firmly placing the feet on the ground. It helps to reduce the chances of occurrence of the flat foot.
Toning of buttock muscles
While doing Tadasana, the hips are lifted up to support the entire back. It ensures a good stretch as well as expanding of the spine muscles. Thus, it helps to stretch and tone the buttocks and make sit bones strong
Who shall avoid
While yoga asanas promote wellness and overall rejuvenation of the body, some postures can be harmful in people with some underlying health conditions.
Mountain Pose involves stretching and expansion of various muscles from head to toe. Avoid the pose if you have any health conditions stated below
If you are suffering from knee pain or Osteoporosis, you might find it difficult and agonizing to knock knees for long periods. As the pose requires knee locking movements, patients with knee pain should skip this pose.
If you are suffering from migraine attache, you might develop a feeling of giddiness. The pose demands a standing stance for an extended duration and can pose a challenge if you try doing it during a migraine attack.
On the other hand, this pose is helpful for migraine patients, so try this when you are not suffering from the migraine attack.
Tadasana puts quite a stress on the spine in order to rectify the bad posture of the body. But some people might find it more strainful on their spine and can complain of pain.
If you face such complications, it is better to avoid Mountain Pose.
Difficulty in standing
If you find it difficult to maintain the standing posture for a long duration and with feet close or apart, you should refrain from doing Mountain Pose.