Mountain pose is the fundamental posture that controls all the postures through its alignment and energetic qualities. Yogis call this ‘Tada’, meaning ‘mountain’ and the meaning of ‘asana’ is ‘pose’ or ‘seat’.
Mountain Pose is known as Tadasana, Equal Steady Standing, State of Balance, Samasthiti because it is said to embody the stability, strength, poise and peace of a mountain.
The feet are placed on the earth like the base of a mountain, while the body moves upwards to move towards the sky. In Ashtanga it is called Samasthiti, or Steady standing posture.
However, this is not just a description of the shape of the pose – it also mentions the energetic qualities and characteristics of the ‘gives mountain’ and gives us a true understanding of what it is trying to create in this pose.
This is also true for all other poses, with the deep meaning of being derived from poses that is beyond alignment within them.
It is important that we consider grounding: weight distribution between the legs, the position of the hips and pelvis, the alignment of the spine and how we are directing the breath.
Alignment and approach are important because they both reveal and influence a lot about the rest of our practice.
Instructions of Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
- Stand with the base of your big toes, heels slightly wider (so that your other toes are parallel).
- Lift and spread your toes and balls of your feet, then lay them gently on the floor. Rock back and forth and side to side.
- With the legs evenly balanced, slowly reduce this speed to a standstill.
- Strengthen your thigh muscles and lift the knee cap, without tightening your lower abdomen.
- Raise the inner ankles to strengthen the inner arch, then draw a line of energy along your inner thighs to your gorge, and from there through the main part of your torso, neck, and head, and out through your crown of Head.
- Fold the upper thighs slightly inward. Extend your tailbone towards the floor and lift the pubis towards the navel.
- Push your shoulder blades into your back, then widen them and drop them under your back.
- Without moving your lower front rib, raise the top of your sternum directly towards the roof. Widen your collarbone. Hang your arms next to the torso.
- Balance the crown of your head directly on the center of your pelvis, the floor under your chin, the throat soft, and the tongue wide and flat parallel to the floor of your mouth. Close your eyes.
- Breathe easily and stay in the posture for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Look inward and acknowledge and accept an internal environment/energy beyond normal thinking
- Accept that this energy is of a higher knowing
- Be open to its purpose in you
- Drop stories from your past
- Forget about the future
- Live right and precisely in the present moment – breathe
- Watch and Observe your thoughts with tolerance – no judgment
- Develop yourself as a witness – Shaksin, free from identity
- Use your wisdom to stay internally still – unanimous
- Through peace you can hear the roar of existence and see yourself clearly like a mirror but there is no concern for what you observe
- Chant the Om Bija Mantra
- Surrender to Ishvara – Higher Power
- Drop your identity
- Honour the character – be a detached artist
- Choose love in every moment
Bija Mantra:The Bija Mantras are sounds endowed with great spiritual powers. The Bija Mantra frees us from all kinds of disease, any kind of fear, any kind of anxiety and every kind of attachment. If we want to get rid of any fear or sin, for any hindrance, for peace, for disaster, for destruction, then we should chant the Bija mantra.
Bija Mantra is part of many mantra compositions and hence they are like a battery of mantras. When chanted with concentration meditation and devotion, the Bija Mantra fulfills the wishes of the devotees and acts like a protective shield around them and protects them from all dangers and enemies.
Om Bija Mantra:Om Bija mantra represents the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Chanting this mantra fulfills all desires.
8 Variations of Mountain Pose
- Tadasana Namaskar (Mountain Pose with Hands in Prayer): hands in Anjali Mudra (Hands in Prayer); feet to the front, toes lifted.
- Viparita Namaskar Tadasana (Reverse Prayer Mountain Pose, Penguin Pose, Back of the Body Prayer Mountain Pose, or Paschima Namaskara Tadasana): feet rotated out.
- Baddha Hasta Tadasana (Hands Bound Mountain Pose)
- Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute Pose or Volcano Pose): arms shoulder width apart
- Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute Pose or Volcano Pose): palms pressed together
- Tadasana Urdhva Baddha Hastasana (Mountain Pose – Raised Bound Hands or Parvatasana)
- Mountain Pose – shoulder opener, intense version
- Lasyasana: both legs straight; one leg extended to the front, heel up; one arm up over the head reaching to the floor, other arm reaching up to the sky; deep backbend.
Safety and Precautions
If your knees are weak, keep your feet parallel and hip-width apart. Set a block between your middle and upper thighs and squeeze to strengthen your innermost quadricep muscle. Keep your spine lengthened without dramatically rounding your lumbar spine.
Due to the balancing nature of the asana, avoid practice Tadasana if you are currently experiencing:
- low blood pressure,
- having lightheaded and/or dizziness.
Tip for Beginners
As a beginner, you may find it difficult to balance in this pose. To improve your balance, keep your inner feet about 3-6 inches apart until you are comfortable in the posture.
Tip for Pregnent women
Tadasana is one of the fundamental asana of prenatal yoga that works wonders on pregnant women. It helps align your body and improves balance, especially since your center of gravity changes with the growing baby.
Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart and pointing your toes straight. Join your hands close to your heart together, your fingers pointing upwards. Close your eyes (if you are beginner then keep your eyes open) and breathe in and out slowly and continuously. If you feel comfortable doing this then you can extend your hands above your head and also stretch your back.
Benefits of Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Here are some amazing benefits of Tadasana:
- This pose helps in improving the posture of the body.
- Regular practice of this pose makes your knees, thighs and ankles strong.This pose reduces your flat feet.This pose also makes your spine more agile.
- It is an great beneficial pose for those who want to increase their height in their formative years.
- Tadasana, also helps to improve balance.
- Your digestive, nervous and respiratory systems are regulated by practicing Tadasana.
Was this article helpful?
Written by Amit Kumar. He is a certified Yoga Instructor; Diploma in sports & exercise and nutrition; Diploma in fitness and weight loss; Diploma in Nutrition; Diploma in Nutrition, Food, Science and Menu Planning.