Mountain Pose is THE foundation of all yoga poses. Aspects of mountain pose can be found in every single pose in yoga, from the ground up. Mountain pose can be a reflective pose, a balancing pose, a restorative pose, or a pose to help you recenter yourself after a particularly difficult series of poses. It is one of the most important poses of yoga.
Intro: Stand with your big toes touching and your heels slightly apart. Let your arms extend down towards the ground without touching the sides of your body, with the palms facing forward. Reach your toes off the ground, spread your toes as much as possible, and then plant them back on the ground. Bend your knees slightly, and engage the thigh muscles. Tilt your pelvis upward to engage the core, bringing the butt under the body and allowing for a straight back. Without arching your back, reach your sternum up toward the ceiling, and lower your shoulders down away from your neck so that you feel a stretch in the outsides of the back of your neck. Reach your head backwards slightly to stack your neck over your spine. Lift the crown of your head toward the ceiling. You have the option to close your eyes, or keep them open. Arms are firm, not relaxed.
Tip: Don’t use mountain pose as an excuse to puff your chest out and show off your chest muscles. When you do that, you tend to arch your back, and this takes away from the integrity of the posture.
Modification: For extended mountain pose, you can reach your arms over your head with your palms facing one another. Make sure your shoulders are relaxed by lowering your arms slightly once you’ve reached them over your head. You can also bring your hands to prayer at your sternum. This is typically more of a reflective/meditative modification.