Your Guide to Tadasana aka the Mountain Pose

Mountain Pose
Image credits: Callum Shaw via Unsplash

While it looks like a simple pose, the mountain pose requires the full-body, total concentration, and a relaxed mind. However, the mountain pose is a good base pose for all standing yoga poses.

Exploring Mountain Pose

Tadasana or Samasthiti is called the mountain position because, with Tadasana yoga, you are standing tall like a mountain. Mountain pose or Tadasana is taken from the root words Tada (mountain) and Asana (pose). It’s often a misleading pose as it looks like you’re simply standing still. However, mountain pose requires focus and calmness as you work to improve your posture and maintain your spinal alignment. 

Mountain pose is ideal for experienced yogis and yoginis who want to try it in different variations. These might include Urdhva Hastasana (Volcano Pose), Tadasana Gomukhasana (Standing Cow Face Pose) and Tadasana Paschima Buddha Hastasana (Back Bound Hands Pose).

Other asanas from the pose include Utthita Tadasana (Five Pointed Star Pose), Supta Tadasana (Reclined Mountain Pose), Urdhva Hastotanasana (Palm Tree Pose) and Tadasana Paschima Namaskarasana (Standing Reverse Prayer Pose). For those experienced with mountain poses, consider starting with Uttansana (Standing Forward Bend) or Adho Mukha Svanasana (Down Dog Pose).

The Benefits of Mountain Pose

Mountain pose can help you to have a more correct posture. It’s also ideal for relieving sciatica as it keeps the spine tall and long. While strengthening your thighs, knees and ankles, you can increase the strength in your abdomen and gluteus maximus.

An excellent way to relieve back pain and sciatica, mountain pose can strengthen the core and lower body. It’s also ideal for those new to yoga who want to correct poor posture or slouching. The more you practice the pose, you will find that over time it can bring your spine into better alignment and help with reducing headaches, neck strain and slumped shoulders. This asana is also helpful for correcting flat feet.

Several muscle groups work together as you focus on kinesthetic awareness and strive to achieve tadasana pose. The erector spinae are your back muscles that extend from your lower spine and work their way up to the base of your skull. Your stomach muscles are also working in unison as you stand tall and stretch them out. Offering support to your torso, they work in conjunction with your back muscles. Additionally, to maintain your posture and help you correct slouching or slumped shoulders, the base of your trapezius muscles work to pull your shoulders down and back and away from your head.

The Difficulty in Achieving Mountain Pose

Tadasana looks easy or like a non-pose that doesn’t require movement or exertion. However, it requires a lot of internal work to achieve full alignment. When working on a mountain pose, you’re unwavering in your stance like a mountain. Hence you’re using physical, spiritual and mental health to achieve this asana.

To ensure you perform it correctly, keep your shoulders, heels and sacrum against a wall to help you focus on better spinal alignment with meditative qualities. You might also want to use a mirror to help you visualize a taller posture from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. Not only can you avoid slouching but you’ll understand essentially what’s required for every standing pose.

If you’re a beginner and trying Tadasana for the first time, it’s recommended that you keep your feet about 3-5 inches apart. This can help you maintain your balance and improve your posture. Similar to a ballerina, the posture you take with your pose can help your body feel lighter and more effortless. Let your eyes focus and have a calm and confident determination. Let your Drishti be relaxed, focused and steady. With this pose, you can also improve your gait, confidence and stability. It’s a grounded pose that is essential for other asanas of this type.

The key with mountain pose tadasana is to keep your body active and aligned. Hence, the benefits of mountain pose include that it promotes better spinal alignment and posture. You’re also able to correct neck, shoulder and back strain by making these necessary changes.

FAQs

What is mountain pose good for?

Mountain pose is good for helping to improve your spinal alignment. It might look like you’re only standing still but this is a deep stretch that can improve the posture. 

Is mountain pose easy?

No, on the contrary, it takes a lot of concentration. Internally to achieve this full alignment, you have to remain unwavering, similar to a mountain. Hence, this asana can improve your spiritual, physical and mental health.

What muscles does the mountain pose stretch?

Muscle groups used during this pose include the lower back muscles and your stomach muscles. You’re also exercising the shoulders, neck and arms when you stand tall and reduce the desire to slouch or slump over.  

Which asana is referred as mountain pose?

Tadasana or Samasthiti is mountain position as you stand firm and unmoving like a mountain. The Sanskrit root words are Tada (mountain) and asana (posture).