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Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

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What is Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Tadasana, or the Mountain Pose, is an easy-level yoga stance for all yoga practitioners, and it's believed to be the foundation of all standing upright yoga postures. 


This posture requires the core, spine, and lower body to be engaged well while keeping the mind focused and calm. It’s a fantastic starting position, resting pose, or tool for improving standing posture.

Overview

Tadasana is derived from the Sanskrit words Tada, which means “Mountain,” and Asana, which means “Posture” or “Seat.” 


This position is also known as Samasthiti, which comes from the Sanskrit words Sama, which means “equal,” “level,” or “balanced,” and Sthiti, which means “stand.”


The Mountain Pose was unknown in hatha yoga until the publication of Light on Yoga in the twentieth century. Still, it does exist in the 1896 Vyayama Dipika, a book for gymnastics, as part of an ancient posture of Dandasana (Danda means “staff” or “stick” in Sanskrit).


According to Norman Sjoman, it is one of the positions that Krishnamacharya accepted into modern yoga as an activity in Mysore, establishing the “fundamental foundation” for his vinyasas with flowing motions between poses. 


Sanskrit Name: ताड़ासन          Pronunciation: tah-daah-SUN-ah


Pose Type: Standing             Also known as: Samasthiti or Mountain Pose


Strengthens: Knees, Thigh, Ankle and Calves  Stretches: None


Health Benefits of Tadasana

  • Helps in opening the chest and arms. 

  • Helps improve legs and core strength.

  • Increase awareness and mental focus. 

  • Improves blood circulation in the whole body. 

  • Improves standing posture and breathing pattern.

  • Helps in de-stressing, relaxing, and balancing sad emotions.


When to Avoid Performing Tadasana?


  • Avoid if you have inflammatory arthritis. 

  • Avoid if you have any recent injury or surgery.

  • Be cautious if facing breathing issues like Asthma.

  • Avoid if you have Kyphosis, Herniated Discs, and Scoliosis. 

  • Avoid during the last trimester of pregnancy if you have sore feet and back pain. 

How to do Tadasana (Mountain Pose)?

Warm-up, position practice, things to bear in mind, and relaxation are all parts of Mountain Pose practice. Let’s have a look at how to practice Tadasana in each phase:


Part 1 - Preparatory Poses for Tadasana


Tadasana is a fundamental standing posture that does not involve much twisting or stretching. So, this pose does not include many preparatory poses for the warmup phase. 


It’s important to start with primary stretching and a dynamic warmup in order to keep your mountain pose practice strong for long durations. Here are some warm-up poses to start with:  


1. Suryanamaskar (Sun Salutations) - Tensed back, chest, shoulders, and arms can make yoga practice challenging, leading surrounded muscle groups to overwork and tossing your body out of balance. Thus, warming up your entire body in sun salutation will help you become more aware of areas you may have been neglecting.


Suryanamaskar (Sun Salutations)


Sun Salutations are a set of yoga poses performed in chronological order. An in-breath and out-breath is used for each alternate posture. This is a full-body, dynamic warm-up that works every muscle while utilizing standing poses, backbends, and inversions.


2. Uttanasana (Forward Fold) - Why should you perform a forward fold? If you spend the majority of your day sitting, this is an excellent way to break up the monotony and stretch your hamstrings. 


 Uttanasana (Forward Fold)


Stretching the hamstrings helps tighten the low back, putting gentle pressure on it and encouraging more blood flow. Hence, this stretch is beneficial for relieving tension and pain around the lower back muscles. Also, with regular practice, forward bending stretch will help you strengthen the hamstrings and glutes. 


Part 2: Step-by-Step Instructions to Perform Tadasana 


Though Tadasana (Mountain Pose) appears to be a basic stance, it is an important core pose for your yoga practice. It serves as a foundation for many other standing postures in yoga. So, mastering this position is critical.


There are several aspects to pay attention to in this seemingly simple stance. The steps of practicing Tadasana (Mountain Pose) are as follows:


Step 1- Stand in the center of your yoga mat, with the bodyweight balanced uniformly on both feet. 


Step 2- Keep the outer edges of your feet parallel with the sides of the mat, and your arms relaxed at your sides.


Step 3- Keep the feet, core, and lower body engaged. Also, breathe continuously here and be mindful of your connection with the ground. 


Step 4- Inhale and lift the kneecaps by contracting the quad muscles; this will help you tighten the knees and legs.


Step 5- Make sure not to bear your body’s weight on your heels or toes, but instead evenly distribute it throughout your whole foot.


Step 6- Keep breathing steadily. Ensure the abdomen is tucked in, the chest is forward, the spine is elongating upwards, and the neck is aligned with eyes gazing forwards. 


Step 7- Place your arms on the side of your thighs to bring them closer to your body. Close your eyes to focus on your steady breath and hold the pose here as long as possible. 



Breath Awareness: 


The following are various ways to breathe in Mountain Pose practice, depending upon its use: 


  • If Tadasana is performed as a basic foundation pose, then practice The Three-Part  Breath or Dirga Pranayama. 


  • If you want to hold Mountain Pose longer, try conscious breathing–also known as Ujjayi Pranayama.


  • If Tadasana is performed as a transition asana in a yoga flow, then follow the Diaphragmatic Breathing pattern. 


  • If Tadasana is performed as a relaxing pose, use a slow but elongated exhaling pattern for deeper relief. 


Performance Duration for Beginners: Hold the mountain pose for 5 to 10 deep breaths.


Performance Duration for Advanced: Hold the mountain pose until you feel comfortable. 


Part 3: Things to Keep in Mind


These pointers can help you prevent injury while also allowing you to reap the most out of your mountain pose practice:


  • Stay attentive about the stance: Start in a balanced Mountain Pose by placing your feet with a few inches of space between them. Maintain a front-facing posture with your upper body, legs, and knees pointing in the same direction. 


  • Learn the difference between locking and contracting: Beginner students are advised to avoid locking their knees in this position, instead of softening their knees as they breathe in and out. Contracting the quad muscle can be confused with locking the knee joint, so be mindful of your leg muscles. 


  • Maintain strong upper body posture: Many people tend to bend their neck down, rounding the shoulders and collapsing the chest forward. Focus on correcting the upper body alignment and keeping it softly stretched upwards. 

Part 4: Relaxing Poses After Tadasana 


After a long Mountain Pose practice, it’s important to perform some counterposes to relax the contracted muscle groups, like your knees, abdomen, spine, and ankles. Here are some following counter stretches: 


1. Balasana (Child’s Pose): Child’s Pose is a popular prone pose seen in many yoga traditions. When performed after any yoga sequence, it is considered one of the unsupported restorative techniques that helps bring back the heart rate to normal. 


Balasana (Child’s Pose)


After a long Tadasana practice, it offers a way for students to immediately reconnect to their breath as they settle down and relax their back. The extended arms resting in front serve to calm down the flow of intensive energy even further. 


2. Bitilasana Marjaryasana (Cat+Cow Pose): Come into all fours and gently move the back in a rhythmic motion, as if you were a cat or a cow, releasing tension in the spine and shoulders while tightening the abdomen to create a stronger core.


Bitilasana Marjaryasana (Cat+Cow Pose)

Image Credits: healthline.com


Cat/Cow Pose is a combination of two positions that can be used to gently relax the spine and abdomen after a practice of strenuous elongated standing in a mountain posture.


3. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold):  Sit at the end of your yoga mat with both the legs flexed straight in front. Maintain a straight spine with your toes flexed toward you. Inhale deeply as you stretch up and extend both arms above your head. 


Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold)


As you bend forward and extend your chest over your legs, exhale while keeping your spine upright and parallel to the ground. This counterpose is beneficial in relaxing the chest and lower back muscles after Tadasana practice. 

Tadasana Modifications and Props

Though it appears to be a simple position, standing with the feet together and raising the spine upwards might be difficult for some people, depending on their body posture and muscular strength. 


Here are a few approaches or modifications that can be applied to make this position easier to achieve optimum benefit.


  • Wall Support: Using the wall to acquire a better grasp on the spine and back can assist you in understanding this pose’s requirements at first.


  • Keep Your Eyes Open: If closing the eyes for mental focus is difficult, you can avoid it by gradually learning to do it once you acquire confidence in the standing balance.


  • Folded Mat: For new yogis, your feet may burn if they are left in one position for an extended period. A soft blanket can be placed beneath the feet, ensuring sure it is firm, or another mat can be placed on top of the existing one.


  • Spread the Feet: If you can’t stand with your feet or your toes together, you can stand with your feet more than a foot apart to improve body balance at first, and gradually lower the distance as your core muscles become stronger.


  • Block between the wall and your upper/middle/lower back: If your chest falls down easily, placing a block between the wall and the middle of your back will gradually modify your upper body posture and help you acquire confidence in mountain stance.


If maintaining your hips and lower back is challenging, place a block against a wall and support it with your lower back to tone your hips and gradually gain confidence.

Tadasana Variations to Consider

Introduce the following pose variations to your Samasthiti practice if it is too easy to perform.


1. Standing Cow Face Pose: Standing cow face pose is a demanding arm position that requires shoulder flexibility. It is a standing variation for fundamental Tadasana practice. It’s also known as Tadasana Gomukhasana in Sanskrit.


Standing Cow Face Pose


This position is first practiced in mountain pose (tadasana). One arm reaches up and behind the back, while the other arm lengthens from below the back. Try to meet both hands in the center of your back, and fingers must be interlocking together, to create the cow face formation with the arms.


2. Back Bound Hands Pose: Also known as, Tadasana Paschima Baddha Hastasana, is one of the many variations of the fundamental Yoga pose Tadasana.


 Back Bound Hands Pose

Image Credits: lamediasonrisadebuda


The arms are clasped behind you onto one another while standing in the simple Mountain Pose, which helps to open the shoulders and chest deeply. It’s a terrific method to open up the chest and shoulders without stretching them out too much.


4. Standing Reverse Prayer Pose: The Pashchima Namaskarasana, also known as Viparita Namaskarasana, is a standing yoga asana that translates to “backwards” and “giving respect."


Standing Reverse Prayer Pose


This pose is an upper-body strengthening pose that works specifically around the arms and the abdomen for more strength and stability.  


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Level-Up Poses After Tadasana for Advanced Yogis

Raising the practice to the next level can upgrade the advantages from just a regular practice of Tadasana and its variations. The following are a few level-up yoga positions.


Level-Up Pose 1 - Vrksasana (Tree Pose)

Level-Up Pose 2 - Garudasana (Eagle Pose)

Level-Up Pose 3 - Kati Chakrasana (Waist Rotating Pose)

Level-Up Pose 4 - Anuvittasana (Standing Backwards Bend)


Vrksasana (Tree Pose)

Vrksasana (Tree Pose)


Garudasana (Eagle Pose)

Garudasana (Eagle Pose)


Kati Chakrasana (Waist Rotating Pose)

Image Credits: 101yogastudio.com

Kati Chakrasana (Waist Rotating Pose)


Anuvittasana (Standing Backwards Bend)

Anuvittasana (Standing Backwards Bend)


Similar Standing Poses like Tadasana

Here is a list of some standing yoga poses, which are similar to Tadasana practice. Take a look below: 


  1. Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose I)

  2. Parsvakonasana (Extented  Angle Pose)

  3. Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)

  4. Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)

  5. Anjaneyasana (Crescent Lunge)

Frequently Asked Questions about Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

What are the steps of Tadasana?

What are the benefits of Tadasana ?

What is the meaning of Tadasana?

Is Tadasana a Mountain Pose?

Who should not do Tadasana yoga pose?

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