Tadasana or Mountain Pose is a versatile pose; it can be the beginning of a standing series, in between standing poses, or used by itself. It may appear like you are just standing in place, but focusing on the alignment of your body can be hard work. By practicing aligning yourself in Mountain Pose, you may experience such benefits as improved posture; stronger knees, thighs and ankles; a firmer abdomen and buttocks; and it may help in relieving back pain and sciatica.
- Stand on your mat with your big toes touching and your heels slightly apart. Spread your toes and evenly distribute your weight onto the four corners of your feet.
- Root your feet and calves into the ground. Firm your thigh muscles and pull your kneecaps upward.
- Slightly rotate your thighs inward and firm your belly while pulling your tailbone down towards the floor.
- Release the shoulder blades down into your back and widen the collarbones. Make sure to keep your shoulders parallel with your pelvis. Hang your arms alongside your body.
- Feel the top of your head rise towards the ceiling while keeping it aligned with your pelvis. Your chin should be parallel with the floor. Soft throat and relax your tongue so it is wide in your mouth. Soften your gaze while you maintain your balance and breathe easily.
To make Mountain Pose more challenging, try performing the pose and then closing your eyes. You will have to maintain your balance and alignment without a point of reference. For beginners, it may be helpful to have your back to a wall while performing the pose to aid in alignment.