The Mountain Pose
The Mountain Pose is a great way to learn proper posture, alignment, and balance, and to develop strength in all the muscles needed for upright yoga positions. But we’ll admit it kind of just looks like standing.
Step 1: Stand in position
Stand tall and upright with your feet hip-width apart and parallel. Distribute your weight evenly between your feet and on the three weight-bearing parts of each foot—the heel, the ball of the foot at the base of the big toe, and the ball of the foot at the base of the little toe.
A variation on this pose calls for a narrower base by positioning your legs and feet together, their inner edges touching.
Step 2: Align hips
Your hips should be aligned directly with your legs, which should be aligned directly over your feet.
Keep the idea of balance in mind throughout this pose. Balance is an integral part of yoga, both physically and spiritually.
Step 3: Lengthen lower back
Allow your tailbone to drop, lengthening your lower back. To help yourself do this, imagine a fishing weight attached to your tailbone, steadily pulling it down. The weight of your upper body should be transferred through your pelvis into the hip joints, in such a way that you can feel your pelvis balancing on the tops of your femur bones.
Step 4: Center shoulders
Center your shoulders between the front and back of your body, in a neutral position. When you find the right spot, the upper back should feel relaxed and free of any unwanted tension.
Step 5: Align shoulders & back
With your shoulders and upper back properly aligned, your head should feel like a helium-filled balloon on a string floating up off your neck.
Step 6: Hold pose
Breathe normally, and hold this pose for as many breaths as you like.
Because the Mountain Pose is so simple, it can be practiced anywhere at anytime—in line at the grocery store, during a ride in the subway, or even at a bar with friends.
Step 7: Release pose
To release the pose, simply relax. And you thought you knew how to stand.