When holding tadasana, it's important to breathe. Let your lower ribs expand on the inhalation. Imagine your diaphragm lowering to make room in your lower chest. You are a soldier of peace in tadasana, so there's no need to put up your armor or feel any tension. Try to notice the difference between tension and simple awareness.
As you complete the pose, distribute your weight evenly between your heels and toes, between each leg, over each hip. Think balance. Let your belly expand and release its tension with each inhalation.
When holding the mountain pose, be careful to stay balanced. If you stand off-balance, your spine's elasticity and alignment will be compromised. Also, tilt your hips slightly in, which will naturally tilt your stomach back toward your spine. The heels on our shoes (even on our gym shoes!) constantly push our hips back and our stomachs out. Realign them with tadasana.
Put your feet together with your toes pointed forward. Your arms should hang by your sides with the palms facing toward your body. Lift your toes off the ground. Notice how the arches of your feet feel. Slightly lift up. Now, slowly place your toes back on the ground while you maintain the feeling of the lift in your arches. Feel the lift all the way up your entire body.
Feel your spine and the back of your neck lengthening. (Remember that string pulling up the crown of your head?) Pull up the thigh muscles and lift the front of your body. Relax your hands and face.
Yoga Adventure: Visualization is an effective tool for the mountain pose. As you hold this pose, imagine you are a mountain. Feel how steady, strong, solid, balanced you are. Feel how you are both a unique, powerful manifestation, and at the same time no different from the planet you rise out of.
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