Even experienced yogis will benefit from going back and practicing the Mountain pose during the day. It is the foundation for all standing postures in yoga but it can also be practised to stabilise emotions and connect with the Earth. When we practice the Mountain pose regularly:
• We look good and feel good about ourselves
• The whole body is strengthened and toned
• Unnecessary pressure on muscles, nerves and internal organs is released
• The breathing process is relaxed and so we feel strong and calm
And it can be done anywhere, anytime, making it an ideal bridge to a calm state of mind in our busy lives.
The Mountain pose:
• Stand tall with your feet hip width apart (two fist widths between your feet), and weight evenly distributed.
• Soften your knees slightly, checking they are in-line with your feet.
• Allow your arms to relax by your sides (let go of your thumbs) and your shoulders to relax.
• Engage your core stability muscles, gently.
• Raise the sternum and pull the chin back slightly to elongate the back of the neck.
• Now imagine the crown of you head is being gently pulled upwards by a golden string, gently elongating the entire spine; feel the space between your vertebrae expand as you do this.
• Let your spine lengthen each time you breathe in and as you breathe out let your spine relaxes back down.
• If you feel comfortable you can begin a very special breathing pattern: breathing in through the crown and into your heart , breathing out of your heart through your feet and into the ground; breathe in through your feet and into your heart, breathe out of the heart through the crown.
• Maintain the breathing you are comfortable with for a few minutes until you are feeling connected and strong.
Notice how different you feel after just a few minutes of being aware of your posture and breath. Now as you move through your day, remind yourself of the mountain as often as you can and check your posture. It can very quickly become a habit to stand tall in your power - a great thing for body and mind!