How to Do the Mountain Pose

The Mountain Pose is a great way to learn proper posture, alignment, and balance, and to develop strength in all the muscles needed for upright yoga positions. But we'll admit: it kind of just looks like standing.

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You Will Need

  • A flat place to stand
  • A yoga mat or blanket

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Stand in position

    Stand tall and upright with your feet hip-width apart and parallel. Distribute your weight evenly between your feet and on the three weight-bearing parts of each foot—the heel, the ball of the foot at the base of the big toe, and the ball of the foot at the base of the little toe.

  2. A variation on this pose calls for a narrower base by positioning your legs and feet together, their inner edges touching.

  3. Step 2

    Align hips

    Your hips should be aligned directly over your legs, which should be aligned directly over your feet.

  4. Keep the idea of balance in mind throughout this pose. Balance is an integral part of yoga, both physically and spiritually.

  5. Step 3

    Lengthen lower back

    Allow your tailbone to drop, lengthening your lower back. To help yourself do this, imagine a fishing weight attached to your tailbone, steadily pulling it down. The weight of your upper body should be transferring through your pelvis into the hip joints, in such a way that you can feel your pelvis balancing on the tops of your femur bones.

  6. Step 4

    Center shoulders

    Center your shoulders between the front and back of your body, in a neutral position. When you find the right spot, the upper back should feel relaxed and free of any unwanted tension.

  7. Step 5

    Align shoulders & back

    With your shoulders and upper back properly aligned, your head should feel like a helium-filled balloon on a string floating up off your neck.

  8. Step 6

    Hold pose

    Breathe normally, and hold this pose for as many breaths as you like.

  9. Because the Mountain Pose is so simple, it can be practiced anywhere at anytime—in line at the grocery store, during a ride in the subway, or even at a bar with friends.

  10. Step 7

    Release pose

    To release the pose, simply relax. And you thought you knew how to stand.

  11. The tallest mountain in India is the Kanchenjunga at 28,208 feet.

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