Mountain pose, or Tadasana, may treat conditions like Parkinson’s disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It’s also foundational for all other standing yoga poses. Here’s how to do it.
Mountain pose, called Tadasana in Sanskrit, is a classic pose that acts as the foundation of all standing yoga poses.
Though it seems deceptively simple, Tadasana has complex benefits. It can help correct muscle imbalances, improve posture, and deepen awareness.
These benefits have a positive impact on other yoga poses, called asanas in Sanskrit, and on daily movements.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of Tadasana, how to do it, and modification options.
A consistent yoga practice can positively influence and enhance your overall well-being. It may help your body feel better by:
- improving flexibility
- relieving pain
- building strength
Yoga also encourages:
- healthy weight management
- stress relief
- improved breathing patterns
Tadasana is the basis of all standing yoga poses. In terms of alignment, it’s similar to poses such as:
You can return to Tadasana in between standing poses to focus on your alignment and balance.
Mountain Pose enhances body awareness so you can correct imbalances and improve alignment, which reduces your risk of injury.
It’s easier to develop awareness and make adjustments when you’re in a simple, static pose like Tadasana. You can also bring this same attention to more advanced asanas.
Practicing yoga can offer benefits for your emotions, mood, and mental health. Focusing on your breath, thoughts, and body while practicing Tadasana enhances awareness of the present moment and promotes mental clarity.
Research from 2019 found that yoga on its own or as an adjunctive (complementary) therapy has a positive effect on depression. Using yoga as an adjunctive therapy helps with the treatment of anxiety disorders, most notably panic disorder.
Tadasana may also help to:
Tadasana may be useful in treating health conditions such as:
- Parkinson’s disease. Tadasana helps with Parkinson’s disease by building lower body strength and improving posture and balance.
- Ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Mountain pose is a gentle option to reduce pain related to AS. It also helps to improve posture and increase flexibility.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The emotional and physical benefits of Tadasana are helpful for people with COPD. It can alleviate stress and anxiety while building balance and strength.
Safety, comfort, and awareness are the most important things to consider when practicing yoga asanas.
If you feel overwhelmed by the many Tadasana alignment principles, select one to three body parts to focus on. Once you’ve got these down, choose a few new body parts to target.
You may want to avoid Tadasana if you have:
- low blood pressure
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- joint, back, or shoulder concerns
- Stand with your big toes touching and your heels slightly apart, so the outer edges of your feet are parallel.
- Distribute pressure evenly between your big toes, little toes, and heels.
- Lift your arches and press into the outer edges of your feet.
- Keep your knees slightly bent.
- Engage your quadriceps and lift your kneecaps upward slightly.
- Bring your pelvis into a neutral position, maintaining the natural curve of your low back.
- Activate your core muscles.
- Elongate your spine and broaden your chest.
- Draw your shoulder blades together and down the back.
- Relax your arms by your sides with your palms facing forward.
- Spread your hands and activate your fingers.
- Keep your belly relaxed and take slow, deep breaths.
- Hold this position for up to 1 minute.
- Cultivate and maintain a balance of effort and ease.
- Align your ears, neck, shoulders, and hips above your ankles.
- Imagine a line of energy extending from your feet through your legs and spine and out through the crown of your head.
- Position your chin so it’s parallel to the floor.
- Relax your eyes, facial muscles, and throat.
- Soften your gaze and focus on a fixed point straight ahead or the tip of your nose.
- Scan your body for places of tightness and tension. Focus on softening these areas.
- Pay attention to misalignments in your body. Common mistakes include putting most of your weight on one foot, collapsing into the arches of your feet, and turning your feet out to the side or in different directions.
- Continually check in with your body and make slight adjustments as needed.
There are several ways to modify Tadasana. Modifications bring ease to the pose, accommodate individual differences, and offer variety.
Some modification options for Tadasana include:
- Use a chair to do seated Tadasana, which improves posture and builds core strength. It also helps to align your neck, shoulders, and spine.
- If you are pregnant or have tightness in your low back, hips, or knees, stand with your feet hip-distance apart. This foot placement makes it easier to balance and may feel more comfortable.
- Test your balance by closing one eye or both eyes. Or turn your gaze upward.
- Experiment with arm variations and pay attention to how they affect your alignment. Raise your arms overhead with palms facing each other or place your hands behind your back in reverse prayer. Or interlace your fingers and extend your arms with your palms facing forward. Then lift your arms overhead with your palms facing upward.
- To get a feel for correct alignment, do Tadasana with your back against a wall. Gently press your shoulder blades, sacrum, and backs of heels into the wall.
- To increase body awareness, play with your balance and weight distribution. Yield your weight forward and backward. Then yield your weight into the insides and outside of your feet. Next, balance on the balls of your feet and then on your heels. Notice how these shifts affect your overall posture, balance, and alignment.
If you like this pose, try…
Once you’ve mastered the finer points of Tadasana, you can use the same awareness and alignment principles to practice similar asanas.
Yoga poses similar to Tadasana include:
- Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute)
- Utthita Tadasana (Tall Mountain Pose)
- Utthita Tadasana (Five-Pointed Star Pose)
- Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand)
- Sirsasana (Headstand)
- Dandasana (Staff Pose)
- Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
- Savasana (Corpse Pose)
While Tadasana is one of the most basic yoga asanas, it provides a challenge for all levels and offers several physical and emotional benefits.
Tadasana centers your body and mind, which helps create a calm sense of inner peace.
Maintaining alignment and body awareness is a constant process. Standing strong, steady, and centered in Mountain Pose helps to improve posture, alignment, and balance. This can benefit other yoga poses as well as your daily movements.
Keep your practice fresh by continually thinking of ways to vary the pose.