Also known as Mountain Pose.
All yoga poses end with the term -asana, which means pose in the ancient Indian language called Sanskrit. Mountain pose helps us to feel more grounded and connected to the earth so our thoughts are not so much in control and up in the clouds.
What I love about this pose is that it’s so very simple, it helps to create balance and strength within and without, and you can do any healing breath exercises while pretending to be a tall, strong mountain.
And what’s better, anyone can do it even while just standing around – in line at the store, staring out at the ocean waves, waiting for your chance to swing during recess, or watching your team up to bat at a baseball game.
Here is how…
Tadasana – Mountain to Tall Mountain
1. Stand with your feet together, and your body nice and tall. The feet are firmly smooshed to the ground, helping to give you a more grounded sensation. I normally tell elementary and older kids to envision roots growing out of their feet into the ground to help them feel stable. For the youngest kids, standing tall is perfectly fine. Shoulders relax. The face relaxes. The crown of the head (or the top of the head) reaches up to the sky.
2. Bring the hands together in front of the heart like you’re holding a baby frog you don’t want to jump away just yet. You can do one of the breathing exercises posted here, or move on to the next step.
3. With your eyes either closed or focused on one spot (called a drishti), take a big slow breath in as you lift your arms up above your head with your palms still together. Make sure your shoulders do not scrunch up around your ears, but stay down where they belong.
4. Visualize yourself as a very tall, strong, solid mountain. If you are doing this with other friends, you can have them visualize together as becoming like a mountain range similar to the Himalayas or the Rocky Mountains.
5. You can stay here for as many breaths as you’d like (I recommend five or less), then on your next exhale slowly bringing your hands back to the heart with the palms still together. For the youngest kids and lower elementary, I call this baby mountain.
6. Now you can say big breath in to tall mountain, long breath out to mountain pose/ baby mountain without making long pauses. This in itself is a very healing breathing exercise.
Mountain pose is the pose used to start nearly all standing poses in yoga. It helps you to begin with a firm, strong foundation. Take this feeling off of the mat and into your daily life. When starting a new project or something you know you’ll need more focus, think of being a tall, strong mountain.
See how to use this pose in feeling like a Warrior.