This basic standing pose is the foundation upon which all other yoga postures are built. Mastering this posture and applying it to everyday movement is one of the most beneficial practices you can do for your body. Mountain builds body awareness, improves breathing, and even boosts your confidence.

Target Area: Total Body
Difficulty: Beginner

Benefits:

  • Corrects posture
  • Highlights muscle imbalances
  • Prepares you for your workout
  • Improves confidence
  • Relieves anxiety

Considerations – who should be careful?

  • Anybody who has issues standing.
  • Anybody who currently has an injury in their lower-body that makes weight bearing difficult or imbalanced.

Technique Walkthrough

  1. Stand with your big toes touching and your heels about 1in (2.5cm) apart.
  2. Press down through your heels, balls of the feet, and big toes.
  3. Gently squeeze your inner thighs and hips toward each other.
  4. Lift your sternum and the crown of your head toward the ceiling.
  5. Hold your arms at your sides, palms facing forward.
  6. Inhale as you expand your chest (making sure not to lift the shoulders), and exhale as you empty your lungs and squeeze navel to spine.
  7. Avoid leaning forward onto the balls of your feet and toes; keep weight centered. Close your eyes to work on your body awareness and balance

Make it easier (Modifications)

  • If you have trouble keeping your toes touching, bring your feet about hip-width distant. Just make sure the insides of your feet are parallel to one another.

What you should (and shouldn’t) be feeling.

What should you be feeling?

  • Slight engagement of hips and core
  • Subtle release of lower back
  • Openness in chest

What you shouldn’t feel.

  • Clenching in hips or body; if you do, release some tension

Common Errors & How to Avoid.

  • Leaning forward, putting the weight in your toes.
    Make sure your hips are right above your ankles; weight evenly distributed through your feet.
  • Shoulders rounded forward
    Keep your shoulder blades pulling toward one another and down toward your hips. It helps to turn your palms to face forward, too.
  • Lower-back in extension (arched)
    Make sure your spine is neutral, belly button pulling up and in toward your spine.

FAQs

  • This is hard for my upper-back. Is that normal?
    Yes. Most people have poor posture when they stand, which makes the muscles in the upper-back weaker than they should be. As you develop better posture, your upper-back will become stronger, and this pose won’t feel as uncomfortable.
  • Does this pose help with posture?
    Yes. This is a great yoga pose for practicing your posture. Just make sure to be attentive to technique, and to keep your chest open, shoulder blades pulling down and back, and chin pulling in toward your throat.

Want to see more info like this? These photos and sections are taken from Yoga Fitness for Men, published in May 2018 by DK Publishers, and written by Dean Pohlman (that’s me), the founder of Man Flow Yoga.