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Poses

Mountain Pose / Tadasana

Yoga pose: Mountain Pose/Tadasana
Step by step
  • Stand with your feet together, base of big toes touching, heels slightly apart, or with your feet hip distance apart.
  • Feel your feet, lift and spread the toes then lower them back down and connect with the ground.
  • Lift knee caps, without locking the knees back.
  • Lift the thigh muscles up and back. Inner thighs slightly turn in.
  • Imagine softening the skin of the lower back and the flesh of buttocks down (dropping the tailbone rather than tucking it under) so the pelvis is in a neutral position.
  • Draw the pelvic floor muscles together and draw your abdomen slightly in and up to engage Mula Bandha (the pelvic floor muscles) and Uddiyana Bandha (the abdominals up to the diaphragm).
  • Open your chest, top of sternum lifts towards the ceiling. Keep ribs soft.
  • Broaden your collarbones, firm your shoulder blades onto your back.
  • Ears over the shoulders, crown of the head lifting up.
  • Soften the face, especially the eyes and the jaw.
Beginners tips
  • If you find it difficult to get your pelvis in a neutral position, try bending your knees slightly. Drop the tailbone, then once you feel you have it, straighten the knees again without changing the position of the pelvis.
  • Take a block between the thighs. Squeeze the block and roll it slightly backward to feel the engagement and rotation of the thighs.
Benefits
  • Prepares the body for all other standing poses.
  • Helps to identify imbalances in the body.
  • Improves posture.
  • Calms the body and mind.
Watch out for
  • Avoid tightening or clenching in this pose. Make sure that your chest is soft. Don't allow this pose to become stiff and 'soldier like'.
  • Try not to speed through or skip Tadasana. Although it looks like simply standing up, practicing the correct actions in Tadasana and staying for a few breaths will set you up for the rest of your practice as well as daily living.
Variations
  • Bring the palms together in front of the chest into Anjali Mudra (prayer position). Close your eyes and use this as a time to pause between poses, feeling the effects in your body.
  • Interlace your fingers, extend the arms straight in front of you for a shoulder stretch.
  • Try practicing this pose with your eyes closed. Rock the weight slightly back into your heels and then forward into the balls of your feet a couple of times to find your balance point.
Complementary poses
Try it in class

Fundamentals of yoga: establish your base - for members only

Teacher: Adela Serrano
Level: 1
Style: Hatha, Vinyasa Flow
Duration: 45 mins

Also try Esther Ekhart's class on the Neutral Spine, one of the key elements for Handstands and many other yoga poses.

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