Yoga Pose Series: The Health Benefits of Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Tadasana, or Mountain Pose, is a basic standing posture and is, therefore, the foundation for all others. Physically, it helps to create space within the body, allowing internal organs to work more efficiently. This can drastically improve respiration as well as digestion and circulation. Mentally, it leaves its users invigorated and motivated, making it perfect for an early A.M. yoga session.
So, start the day with Tadasana! Or, if you would rather receive instruction from a licensed practitioner, check out our yoga class schedule for each branch of CNY Healing Arts.
Getting Into Mountain Pose:
Stand erect with the bases of your big toes touching, heels slightly apart. Do not lock your knees and let your arms hang loosely at your sides. Lift and spread the toes and balls of your feet, then let them drop to the floor creating a wide, solid base.
Practice distributing your weight evenly around your feet, not just on your toes or heels. You should feel stability from all four corners of both feet. Strengthen this base by rocking back and forth, side to side. A strong base is essential to Tadasana. Gradually slow your swaying and come to a standstill. Feel yourself being supported by the floor.
Now comes the recognition and toning of several core muscles. Start by breathing deep and steady. Inhale slowly and flex your thighs without hardening your lower belly. Your kneecap will rise when you contract your quad, which is a sign that you are flexing correctly. Next you will engage your sit bones (literally the bones on which you sit). Rotate your thighs inward to automatically widen your sit bones. Once you’ve done this, lengthen your tailbone towards the floor so that it rests between your sit bones.
Your core is the group of muscles around your stomach and is where you maintain your body’s balance and control. Contract your core muscles to increase stability. Keep your posture erect. Press your shoulder blades into your back, then widen them across and release them down the back. Your shoulders should be parallel to your pelvis.
Without puffing your front ribs forward, lift the top of your sternum straight up towards the sky, widening your collarbone. Keeping your shoulders wide and your spine straight, elongate your neck so that the crown of your head rises toward the ceiling. Stay in this posture for 30 seconds to 1 minute, breathing deep and easy. To intensify this posture, try going through all prior stretching and flexing with eyes closed.
Benefits of Mountain Pose:
- Improves posture
- Strengthens thighs, knees, and ankles
- Increases awareness
- Steadies breathing
- Increases strength, power, and mobility in the feet, legs, and hips
- Firms abdomen and buttocks
- Relieves sciatica
- Reduces flat feet
- Develops strength and flexibility simultaneously, especially in the spine
- Relieves tension, aches, and pains throughout the body
- Improves blood circulation
- Encourages healthy digestion and elimination
- Leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated
- Expels dullness and depression
- Harmonizes the body and mind
- Increases energy and enthusiasm