So, I have mastered this pose, I am thinking very enthusiastic. My yoga teacher walks by and asks me to lift my toes. I try to do it and then wiggle in all directions. Hmm, funny guy my teacher… A few years ago I tried the mountain pose for the first time, I thought that it would be a really simple exercise. how difficult can it be to stand upright? I was wrong. For this pose you need active abdominal muscles. When you tighten your muscles, not only will you stand more stable, it also has a detox effect.
What is the mountain pose?
It is a standing balance asana. In yogi jargon this pose is called ‘Tadasana’; tada means mountain. In the picture I do a variation of this asana called ‘Samasthiti’, also called ‘Bid pose’. Sama means ‘equal’ and shiti ‘standing’. The standing pose is unique to humans because we are the only two-legged mammals on the planet. Humankind is the least stable of all beings. We have the smallest basis to stand on (the feet), the highest center of gravity and proportionally the heaviest brain that balances on top. In short, it requires good footwork to do this posture effectively.
What makes it difficult?
The biggest challenge in the mountain pose is to distribute your weight evenly on your feet. You have to put your feet hip width. Hip width is placing your feet right under your hip bones and then putting the weight on your soles. It is important that you can still move your toes freely and not put weight on them. When you stand upright, this posture has a detox effect. Because when your entire body takes on a good shape there is room for your organs, which makes them do their work better. By gently breathing in and out through your nose, you stimulate your metabolism and that has a detox effect.
What is standing up right?
Although we do not think about standing upright, there are just few people who have a good standing posture. We often do not strain the muscles that are so important in this posture, which means that the back is more dense than natural and you raise your shoulders higher than necessary. When you are not standing upright, your metabolism can not do its job in the most efficient way and waste substances accumulate in your body. This can give all sorts of complaints such as weight gain, bad night’s sleep, chest tightness, joint and muscle pain. The following tips have helped me to learn what a good active body posture is. At first it was tough, because the abdominal muscles (my weak spot) had to work hard. Now I am aware of which muscles are needed to perform the mountain pose properly. And a nice additional benefit is that you also get more energy from it, because your metabolism can work optimally.
- Put your feet on hip width and put your hands together. Your thumbs pressed against the chest bone.
- Close your eyes and inhale deeply through your nose a few times.
- Lift your toes up and divide your weight on the part of your feet that is on the floor. Then gently put your toes back.
- Push your tailbone towards the ground and automatically tilt the hips forward. To keep your hips in this place you have to tighten your stomach muscles.
- Your shoulders are pushed down and your shoulder blades slightly towards each other.
- Your chin is slightly towards your chest so that your jaw can relax.
When you stand like this, you have an active standing posture. Your organs now have plenty of room to do their job. When you hold this pose for a few breaths, you stimulate your metabolism which has a cleansing effect.