Sanskrit Meaning of Tadasana
“Tada” means mountain and “Asana” means pose or posture, hence Mountain Pose. In this pose you stand upright and unmoving as if you were a mountain. Many other standing postures are derived from this starting pose.
How to do Mountain Pose
- Stand with feet together.
- Lift toes and spread them out before slowly placing back on the floor to give a really solid base.
- Slightly shift weight forwards and backwards, and side-to-side to find the comfortable centre of gravity. Allow an even distribution of weight across the feet.
- Working up the body lift up your kneecaps and then let them drop down and completely relax, unlock the knees to allow a micro bend – this protects the cruciate ligaments and encourages the muscles in the thighs and lower legs to work.
- Stick your tailbone out, then tuck it under – this gives good spine positioning and also naturally encourages the knees to unlock.
- Inhale – lift up the breastbone, and expand the chest – this helps to create more space in abdomen and encourages good breathing.
- Exhale – drop the shoulders back and down the back, keeping the breastbone lifted, and let your arms and hands hang loosely by your side.
- Inhale– extend through the back of the neck and lift the top of the head – imagine a thread pulling it up.
- Exhale – drop your chin slightly so your chin and gaze are horizontal.
- Allow your body to be comfortable and relaxed in this posture.
- Keep inhaling and exhaling at your own pace.
- With each inhale keep lifted and open.
- With each exhale keep relaxed.
You should never wobble in this pose – you should feel that you could stay here for ever
Take it further
- You can open the palms to face out and bring the arms a few inches away from the body. Extend the palms and fingers.
- Raise the arms above the head, bringing the palms together. Keep the shoulders drawn away from the ears.Look up to your thumbs.
- Pull in the abdomen towards the spine.
- You can also engage Mula banda and Uddiyana banda to help strengthen core and pelvic floor muscles.
- You can advance your balance by closing the eyes. There shold be absolute stillness in this posture even with closed eyes.
To come out
Just relax completely, lift up each foot and gently shake to release any tension.
If you find it hard to balance with feet together, allow them to be up to hip-distance apart. Work towards bring them together. Postnatal mums may find it takes some years to enable the pelvis to close enough to stand comfortably with feet together.
Benefits of Mountain Pose
Practising Mountain pose helps to improve the posture, aids diaphragmatic breathing and calms the mind. It lightly engages the muscles of the legs, abdomen and shoulders, and is the starting position for all standing yoga postures.
- Teaches the body what a neural standing posture should be.
- Improves balance.
- Improves posture.
- Help calms the mind.
- Relieves Sciatica.
- Improves flat feet.
Cautions or Contraindications
- If you have pain in feet or aching legs then don’t hold this posture for long.