As I’ve been sharing the beginner yoga poses series with you guys, I realized that a lot of poses start in mountain pose. And knowing that mountain pose is pretty foundational in any yoga practice, I’m kinda embarassed that I haven’t written about mountain pose sooner. I mean, I talked about it a little bit in this post, but it didn’t get the attention it truly deserves. Well, I’ve realized the error of my ways and now I’m sharing how to do mountain pose with y’all.
Mountain pose is one of the most important yoga foundation poses in my opinion. It looks so simple, I mean, what could be so important about standing in a straight line right? But this pose that looks simple to the eye has quite a few things happening at once.
How to do Mountain Pose
I created this graphic to show in detail, all the things you’d need to aware of while you’re in mountain pose. Why don’t you stop reading and give it a try right now? One thing to remember in this pose and any other pose: don’t hold your breath. The breath is what makes yoga, yoga. We’ll talk more about that some other day.
Once you’re able to master mountain pose, the goal then is to try to “find” it in every other pose that you do. Mountain pose is great for building posture awareness, and once you have that awareness, you want to keep it in other poses. The tucked tailbone? Belly drawn in towards the spine? Thighs engaged? If you’ve read this post, or even this one, you’ll see that those phrases come up regularly in the description of other poses.
I remember when I first started yoga, I would always hear/read about keeping the tailbone tucked but I never really understood what that meant. But once I finally figured out what it meant and how to do it, it revolutionized my practice. Ok, I’m exaggerating. But seriously you guys, in a large number of poses your tailbone needs to be tucked in to protect your lower back. Even in backbends, you don’t want to be crunching your lower back cause that’s no safe at all!
When you tuck your tailbone under, you create space and length in your lower back. When you engage your abdominal muscles by sucking your belly in towards your spine, you protect your lower back. I talked a bit in this post about how often the lower back does work it shouldn’t be doing when our lower bodies are tight. Well, even with loose hamstrings or open hips, if you’re not practicing safe alignment in yoga poses, they can still lead to lower back injury.
While tucking my tailbone, I think of two simultaneous actions. Dropping my tailbone down and gently pushing my pelvic bone forward. The image above shows the difference between a tucked and untucked tailbone. See that curve in my lower back in the image on the left? No bueno. While that’s the natural curve of my spine, it’s not proper posture and definitely not safe alignment in yoga poses.
Did you try tucking your tailbone while you read this? No? Why not try it now and let me know how it felt in the comment box below?
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