Mountain Pose is a foundation pose that anyone can benefit from. It builds a strong posture, strengthens our standing muscles, and relieves many aches and pains.
It’s also a pose that can be incorporated into your daily life so you don’t need the yoga mat every time you want to do it.
Keep in mind that, while it’s not hard to perform the pose, it takes a little direction.
With that said, we’re going to show you exactly how to perform the Mountain Pose, step-by-step. We’ll also show you how to make it more or less difficult and some related poses to pair with the Mountain Pose.
Let’s get started...
How to do Mountain Pose
Stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Pay attention to where you’re placing the pressure on your feet. The goal is to distribute your weight evenly through the balls and arches of your feet. You can roll back and forth until you find a comfortable spot.
Straighten your legs by flexing your thighs (quads) and gently locking your kneecaps. Make sure you’re not flexing hard enough to hyperextend your knees. Run a mental check to make sure you’re not collapsing at your arches/ankles as well. If so, adjust your weight distribution to firm your arches.
Imagine a line running from the top of your head and through your feet. Adjust your body so that you’re perfectly upright along this line. Your glutes should be engaged, core tight, and your hips should be forward and in line with the rest of your body.
Press your shoulders back and your shoulder blades closer together while elongating through your torso. Expand and broaden your collarbones while maintaining your shoulders inline and your head up straight. Your arms should be at your sides in a relaxed position.
Keeping the top of your head directly in line with your pelvis, elongate your neck. Make sure your chin is parallel with the floor and you’re not tensing your neck or throat.
Soften your gaze and breathe deep. You can hold the pose for as long as you like but aim for at least 30 seconds. While you’re in Mountain Pose, take note of your posture. This is a foundational pose that many others are built upon and that includes your general posture in life. Feel how it feels when you’re in the pose and try to align yourself properly as you go through your day.
Modifications for Mountain Pose
There are a few things you can do to make the pose easier but, being that it's a beginner pose, it's not very difficult to begin with. However, we've included a few tips to help you get more from the pose.
- If you have trouble finding your balance when your feet are together, try moving them apart just slightly. Usually, about six inches works for most people but you can go wider if you’re still having trouble.
- To check your alignment, stand with your back against the wall. Your heels, butt, and shoulders should be against the wall but your head should not.
- If you have collapsed arches, you can perform the pose with a supportive pair of shoes.
- Your arms can be placed in several positions. For alignment, in the beginning, you’ll want your palms facing in. However, once you get familiar with the pose, you can place your palms forward to open the chest more.
- Mountain Pose is not designed to be a difficult pose. It’s one of the first poses you do to build proper alignment and posture. With that said, if you want to add a little challenge, you can try the pose with your eyes closed. This may help you feel your body more and help you improve your balance.
Tips For a Better Mountain Pose
Practice bringing the Mountain Pose into your daily routines. Every time you notice yourself slouching over or getting weak in the core, take a minute to perform the pose and bring yourself back into alignment.
When you’re performing the pose, remind yourself what it feels like to be in this alignment. As you do life, strive to keep that alignment. It may be hard at first because the muscles needed may be weak. Just keep working on it and you’ll become the strongest person you know with great posture.
More tips for Mountain Pose:
- Work from the floor up. Pay attention to the alignment of your feet, knees, thighs, hips, etc. all the way up to the crown of your head. Make sure your hips are above your knees are above your ankles, hips above your knees, head above your hips. In other words, stack your body so it could stand straight if relying only on gravity.
- Find your balance by rolling back and forth on your feet for a moment. Once you find the proper weight distribution in your feet, realign your body.
- Recheck your balance and alignment every time you get back into the pose and even while you’re performing the pose.
Risks & Benefits of Mountain Pose
There are very few risks associated with this pose. However, due to the need for balance in the pose, if you suffer from any issues like low blood pressure, headaches, insomnia, or dizziness, proceed with caution. If you have these or other medical concerns, it’s best to speak with your doctor first.
The Benefits of Mountain Pose:
- Improved posture
- Stronger muscles
- Can help reduce posture-related aches and pains
- May relieve sciatica pain
- Helps strengthen the arches of your feet
Bringing Mountain Pose Into Your Day
You can bring this pose into any part of your day that requires standing. For example, when you’re brushing your teeth in the morning and at night. Or when you’re waiting in line for a cup of coffee, working at your standing desk, or any other time that you’re standing for a few seconds. It’s excellent for improving posture so the more you do it, the better your posture gets.
- Corpse pose
- Chair pose
- Crescent lunge
- Standing forward bend
- Plank pose
- Sanskrit Name: Tadasana
- Difficulty: Beginner