From the 50 or so postures covered in yoga teacher training, no one holds more importance than Mountain Pose. As Dona Holleman writes in Dancing on the Body of Light,
“Tadasana (mountain pose) contains all the postures in the same way as white light contains all the colors of the rainbow.”
She’s referring to how every pose has some element of mountain within in. It may only be an elongated spine, or a knee in alignment with your ankle, but it’s there all the same.
Then she goes on to dedicate seven and half pages to explaining the anatomical positioning for mountain pose. When I teach mountain during training it takes 30 minutes. In the video, I share the first portion, the three key positions of your feet.
👉 Before I go further, if you want to review my five key points about asanas, click here.
Mountain posture in yoga
Tall mountain, at attention, and tadasana in Sanskrit.
I’ve provided some benefits, contraindications, variations, chakra connections, and sequencing suggestions. Other yoga teachers and sites may list additional or varying information.
👉 Remember Key Point #1, there is no one singular way.
steps to do mountain
- Stand with feet hips-width distance apart.
- Weight evenly distributed through your feet.
- Ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, and ears in alignment.
benefits of mountain
Benefits = By practicing this posture, the conditions listed can be improved.
- Improves posture
- Decompresses your spine
- Strengthens your legs
- Engages your core
- Balances your body
- Good for first chakra balancing
contraindications of mountain
Contraindications = A condition that the posture could make worse.
- Avoid locking knees
- High blood pressure
variations or adaptations
By altering the form of a yoga posture, you can meet the requirements and strength of each person. Yoga encourages you to practice within your capacity whether that means you need to increase or reduce the intensity.
“Asana variations are not just for people with specific physical problems. They can help all yoga practitioners remain open to discovery.” –TKV Desikachar, The Heart of Yoga.
- Hands hang by your side
- Samasthiti (hands at heart center)
- Arms extend overhead
- Stretch side to side
- Feet together
Mountain pose has root chakra connections. The root chakra is associated with the base of the your spine, legs, and feet. In tadasana, you’re feet are touching the ground while standing on strong, engaged legs.
Postures you could do BEFORE mountain pose:
- Extended mountain
- Standing forward bend
- Mountain can be done at anytime in a practice
Postures you could do AFTER mountain:
- Standing forward bend
- Five pointed star
FINAL THOUGHTS ON MOUNTAIN
I’m into the functional side of yoga. I love the pretty postures, too, but what most of us need most from our yoga practice is increased range of motion, better circulation, and a way to relieve stress while have a body with fewer aches and pains.
When you understand the individual elements of mountain pose, you’ll be better able to “execute” the other poses. In turn, this functional knowledge helps prevent injuries because you know how your body responds so you can adapt accordingly.