Tadasana, or mountain pose, is often overlooked. But its stillness builds strength that is unlike anything that comes from movement. Rather than rushing through it, come to the front of your mat, pause and notice how powerful it feels to stand tall like a mountain.
Tadasana forms the foundation for all the other poses. When you set up this pose properly, you’ll understand how your muscles and bones are designed to function. Bring intention to tadasana regularly and you won’t question what hip-width distance is, or what it means to have your head directly above your shoulders -- you’ll just know what your natural design is by feeling it.
Bring in tadasana before your standing poses, or any time during your practice or life when you want stillness and strength. Stand tall and feel the earth beneath you.
Tadasana from the ground up
As you stand in alignment, gently engage the lower front part of your thighs, just enough to lift your kneecaps. Lift from your pelvic floor (inside, just above your pubic bone) up the spine and through the crown of your head. Keep your hands relaxed, letting them hang naturally. Gaze at one spot in front of you or at the tip of your nose.
- If you have trouble understanding the alignment or you have a tendency toward poor posture, practice this at the wall. Line up your heels a few centimeters away from the wall and touch your buttocks, shoulders and the back of your head to the wall.
- Use a chair to better understand the points of alignment (your ankles will line up with your hips, shoulders and tips of ears). This is a great pairing with sit down/stand up using a chair.
Common trouble spots
- Knees locked: Gently lift your kneecaps to engage the front lower part of your thigh, but don’t lock the knees.
- Sinking into the pelvis: Extend from just above the pubic bone, inside, up through the torso and head, allowing the arms to hang freely.
- Shoulders rounded/chest collapsed: The tops of your shoulders should line up from your ankles to your ears. Practice at a wall until you can feel it without thinking about it.
- Ribs sticking out: Your ribs should be centered above your hips. Notice if your ribs or belly jut out and gently draw your torso back in place.