What does mountain pose (Tadasana) mean?
Mountain pose or tadasana (tah-DAHS-uh-nuh) is the starting yoga pose to start a yoga session. The name itself suggests that one has to feel strong and tall while practicing the mountain pose. It is also known as palm tree pose because of its straight and elongated alignment. Mountain pose is one of the important standing yoga of Shankhaprakshalana, which systematically opens the various intestinal valves between the stomach and the bowels during this process and according cleanses the stomach from toxins and impurities.
How to do mountain pose (Tadasana): instructions
Technique: If you want to get the maximum benefits of this yoga pose, it is advisable to practice tadasana properly.
- Stand erect with your feet about 15 cms apart.
- Interlock the fingers of both hands.
- Hold your straight arms directly above your head facing the palms upwards.
- Inhale, stretch your whole body upwards as far as possible.
- Now, come on the toes and feel the stretching from toes to fingers.
- Maintain the pose as long as you can (initially for 30 seconds).
- Exhale, come to the original position.
- This is the one round. Do 2-3 rounds.
Mountain pose breathing and awareness
Breathe in deeply as you raise the body. Do deep breathing while maintaining the pose. Breathe out as you come to the original position. While maintaining the pose, it is better to fix a particular point to attain stability.
Number of rounds
For shankhaprakshalana and laghoo shankhaprakshalana do eight rounds. Otherwise, for general health purposes, you can practice as many rounds as you wish. Tadasana should be done after Sirshasana (the headstand pose) as a counterpose.
8 benefits of mountain pose
Being a standing yoga, it has many important benefits from toes to fingers if one practices it as per the instructions mentioned above.
- Height increase: Mountain pose in yoga gives desirable stretch from toes to fingers that’s why it is considered as one of the best yoga poses to increase height up to the age of 15-20 years.
- Nerves health: The entire body nerves and muscles get suitable stretching. Thus practicing it helps to get rid of numbness, weakness and neurological problems.
- Fat reduction and weight loss: The practicing of it on a regular basis and maintaining the same for a certain period of time, helps to burn extra fat and also activates body metabolism, thus ensure more burning of fat from toes to finger and gives the body a slimmer look.
- Treats sciatica: Since, it is a stretching yoga, it may give relief to sciatic patients. However, it is recommended that such patients should practice it in the presence of a yoga therapist.
- Strengthens knees and ankles: Nowadays, pain in knees and ankles is quite common along with the case of weak leg muscles. The pose helps to strengthen the legs muscles, overcome knees & ankles pain, also good for buttocks, lower abdomen, shoulders and neck.
- Improves concentration: It improves concentration, balance and alertness. If you practice it properly, you can extract more advantages from other yoga poses.
- Low back pain: It is beneficial in case of low lumbar spine pain. In fact, the yoga pose gives appropriate stretching to the entire spinal region. Therefore, it is also effective to combat the pain of the spine and associated muscles.
- Art of walking: As per Dr. B K S Iyengar, the king of yogasana said that the art of walking and standing can only be attained if one practices tadasana technically.
Precautions of mountain pose
Though, yoga shows the least side effects, however, caution and contradictions are related to it.
- Pregnancy: Women during pregnancy should skip performing this yoga pose.
- Varicose vein: The patient of varicose vein should avoid it.
- Dizziness: During dizziness, skip it.
- Knee pain: Don’t stretch beyond your capacity as it may lead to knee jerk.
- Headache: If somebody is having headache, skip to maintain it for a long duration.
- Low blood pressure
Initially, it is difficult to maintain the pose on toes by raising the heels. Perform it bt keeping your heels on the surface. One also feels imbalance by keeping the feet together. In such a case, have a certain distance between the legs and gradually start minimizing it. Beginners should practice the pose standing against the wall. The beginners shouldn’t maintain the pose for a longer period of time. It will come after certain practices and in achieving some sort of balance. To maintain balance, it is also advisable to keep your gaze fixed on a certain point.
Facts and tips
- Mountain pose is the fundamental asana for all the standing yoga poses.
- Alignment and muscle movement are important as these are being applied while practicing the other yoga poses, especially the standing one.
- In Iyengar yoga school, the pose is performed by raising the hands over the head or keeping them at the sides of the legs.
- In Vinyasa yoga, it is performed while coming on toes.
- In Ashtanga yoga, it is the beginning and ending yoga pose of Surya Namaskar.
Modifications & variations
If you feel the above instructions a little bit difficult, you can try the modified and simpler version. Simply standing erect and keeping your arms beside your thighs is also a form of mountain pose. Try to keep the least distance between your legs. If you have knee and ankle problems, no need to give more stretch on these areas.
Muscles and joint actions
The lumbar, thoracic, and cervical curves are experiencing extension. The knee joints are extended; the elbow joints are extended and the forearms are pronated. The arches of the feet are lifted and connecting with the upward-lifting action in the pelvic floor, the lower abdomen, rib cage, cervical spine, and the top of the head. The shoulder blades are dropped onto the support of the rib cage and connect with the downward release of the tailbone and the grounding of the three points of contact between each foot and the floor.