Improve Your Posture With Mountain Pose

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Bad posture can decrease height by as much as two to three inches. And it can affect your breathing, digestion, back health and overall quality of life.If you’re someone who suffers from poor posture, here’s a yoga move you should get to know: mountain pose.

Mountain pose is the most basic of yoga poses, but don’t underestimate its difficulty: it actually requires much concentration and effort.The Sanskrit name for mountain pose is Tadasana and it represents the qualities of a mountain: strong, still, tall and grounded. By doing this pose we learn the importance of aligning our body.

The first step in alignment is creating a strong foundation, without it, we cannot have stability in our pose.We begin by properly positioning our feet, placing equal weight on each foot by spreading our toes and rooting on all four corners of each foot.We can then begin to engage our legs and align each and every part of our body as we move up. I like to imagine a domino effect, aligning my body from the ground up starting with my feet.By establishing a strong foundation first, we can then work on lengthening our body reaching the top of our head up, and by doing this, Tadasana helps us stand tall and stand correctly.

On top of bringing our body into alignment, we also bring our body into balance, or at least try to. Coming into this pose, we notice weak areas in our bodies, where we place a lot of pressure and where we don’t and then we work on bringing ease and steadiness to our pose. Other benefits to this pose are it strengthens our ankles, thighs and knees and firms our buttocks and abdominals.

Mountain pose is a wonderful pose to begin our practice. It is the foundation for all other standing poses and so we can use these same principles in many areas of our practice. By bringing our body into correct alignment and establishing our foundation, we can then move into more challenging poses.

How to Do Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

1. Bring your big toes together and heels slightly apart.
2. Spread your toes and then root down on all four corners of each foot (ball of big toe, base of baby toe, inner and outer heels).
3. Engage quadriceps and draw up on quads and knee caps.
4. Internally rotate inner thighs and tuck tailbone under.
5. Widen collar bone and press shoulder blades into back.
6. Keep neck long and reach the crown of head up towards the sky.
7. Bring arms down beside torso.
8. Stay in this pose anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes.

Author: Michelle Uy is a Certified Yoga Teacher and Owner of LoveActionYoga.

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