Move-It Monday~Yoga Pose: Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Difficulty level: Easy
- Improves posture
- Strengthens thighs, knees, and ankles
- Tones the abdominal muscles
- Opens the chest
- Relaxes the neck and throat
Tadasana is the blueprint for all other standing poses, but is also a great pose all on its own to focus on posture, balance, and breathing. Begin by standing on your mat, with your feet hip distance apart, all 10 toes pointing forward and feet parallel to one another and the long edge of your mat. Shift your weight over your feet rolling so that you can identify all four corners of your feet: big toe ball mound, little toe ball mound, inner and outer edges of your heels. Gently slow the sway and press firmly through all four corners into your mat so that your weight is evenly distributed over your feet. Lift up your toes and feel the muscles in your legs engage. Slowly lay the toes back down on your mat, keeping the muscular engagement of the legs. Without moving your legs on the mat, muscularly draw the lower legs towards each other. Draw your inner thighs back in space, slightly lifting your tailbone. Against that action of the back body, begin to draw the abdominal muscles in from the base of the pelvis (lifting the pelvic floor) up to the rib cage. Inhale your shoulders up by your ears, exhale and draw the shoulder blades onto your back, then down to rest on the back. Lift up through the crown of your head and gently pull the ears in line over the shoulders. Draw your chin parallel to the floor, float your tongue in your mouth or place the tip touching the roof of the mouth just behind the front teeth.
Close your eyes gently and notice the alignment of your body and the strength of the position. Hold this pose while breathing deeply for 30 seconds to a minute.
To practice keeping the legs engaged while you stack the rest of the body, place a block on the floor between your feet. Squeeze the block between the feet as you press all four corners of the feet down into the mat, then continue to build the pose as above.
To check your alignment in the pose, set up Tadasana using a wall at your back. Note that the back of your head should not touch the wall.
A partner can also check your alignment. Your partner can assist in directing you so that the ear hole lines up over the center of the shoulder joint, center of the outer hip joint, and outer ankle.
Looking for a yoga sequence you can incorporate into your daily routine? Check out Refresh, Renew, Reset~A 7-Day Jumpstart For Mind and Body. Stacey Portugal and I created this nutrition protocol with daily yoga and meditation to assist you in jumping into (or back into) your healthy lifestyle!