Another Mountain (Pose)


This was not a  big mountain, and this is not a mountain pose (tadasana), but it is rather a pose in the mountains. 

Why mountain pose?

Tadasana or a mountain pose is so simple that it is hard to teach. It is so natural, that it is hard to learn. A bit like pranayama, like you need to learn to breath? Like, you do not know how to breath?

What is tadasana or a mountain pose? Well, that is a pose when you just stand. That’s it.


By now, I guess we all more or less know that in life, and in yoga : what is simple is complicated, and yes: what is complicated, is usually quite simple. So let’s figure out this pose!

happy and unhappy spine

Your mountain pose is the foundation for all standing and inverted poses. One of my favorite old school yoga teachers, Erich Schiffmann says:

“This is called Mountain Pose because it promotes the experience of stillness, strength, relaxed power, and immovable stability associated with mountains. Remember that experiencing yourself in stillness is the most direct way to experience yourself with clarity. This pose, and coming back to this stillness after other poses, is one of the very best ways of becoming acquainted with stillness.”

1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.   Look down at your feet and check that they are straight: the inner edges of each foot pointing straight ahead. Spread your toes.

2.Close your eyes. With your eyes closed, lean forward a little and shift your weight to the front of your feet. Notice how the toes grab the floor to prevent a fall. Stay here a moment and experience the strain both in your feet and throughout your body. Then lean backward slightly and shift your weight onto the heels. Feel your toes becoming weightless and lifting from the floor. Stay here a moment and experience the uncertain balance.

3. Shift your weight forward and backward several times, experiencing the difference, and then look for the balance point at which your weight is equally distributed between the heels and toes – just in front of the ankles. Be sensitive and delicate as you do this. When you find the perfect balance point, settle into it and stand absolutely still.

4.To achieve balance you must organize your center of gravity (your hips, abdomen, and pelvis) directly above the central point of your base of support (your feet). Find this spot by paying close attention to the inner sensations of balance. When your posture is aligned improperly, you will experience the downward pull of gravity as heaviness. When you are perfectly aligned and balanced, however, you will experience a buoyant lightness and spontaneous, natural uprightness. You will feel expanded, spacious, relaxed, and nearly weightless. Make subtle internal adjustments until you feel this way.

5. Allow your head to float upward off the shoulders Soften your neck and lower or elevate the chin, as needed, in order to eliminate any strain in your throat. Relax your face, allow a faint smile to emerge, and simply let your arms dangle limply. The more your arms, hands, and fingers relax, the more your neck, spine, and core will elongate.


Be solid, quiet, unmovable… like a mountain.

2011 Rainier_3393


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