Perfect Your Posture With Mountain Pose:

by Carole Bourne

” The yoga mat is a good place to turn when talk therapy and anti-depressants aren’t enough” Amy Weubtraub

Don’t be fooled.  This seemingly insignificant looking yoga pose can teach us all so much about standing on our own two feet and coming back to our centre.  Tadasana or mountain pose as it is known, helps to distribute the weight of our body evenly over our  feet.

It encourages us to stay grounded, improves alignment and supports a better flow of energy throughout the body.   I can hear my yoga teacher now, “Balance ears over shoulders,  shoulders over hips and hips over ankles, tuck your pelvis slightly, roll back your shoulders and lift your chest, just a little”.


Photo of Kori from Touch of Yoga – California

Over the years Mountain pose has taught me lots about my body and how I hold it.   I’ve found it to be naturally grounding, encourages the mind to become calm and focused (great for boosting concentration), opens up the meridians, wakes up the legs, lengthens the waist, spine and neck, nourishes the root chakra, strengthens the abdomen and above all promotes a tall, strong stance.

Mountain pose at a glance:

Believe it or not this pose is quite complex and detailed.  Each year I seem to learn new little adjustments or corrections that I can do to further improve my mountain posture.

However, my intention with this article is to inspire you (hopefully) to take a closer look at your posture more often, so I’ve shared a simple overview of mountain pose.

Practice anytime you want for at least 8 breathes, particularly when you feel the need to come back to your centre.  I find it perfect for when I’m feeling rushed.

1: Ground the four corners of your feet:

Stand with your feet together.  Big toes touching.  Arms by your side.

Spread your toes and feel the four corner points of your feet really sinking into the ground.

1 – The ball of the big toe

2 – Ball of the little toe

3 – Left side of the heel

4 – Right side of the heel

I remember when I first practiced this simple action I discovered that I was often leaning forward with more of my weight slightly towards my toes.   A sure sign that my head was in front of my shoulders and my mind was racing at a hundred miles an hour.

2: Lengthen your waist, spine and neck:

Next, stand tall by subtly lengthening your waist, then spine and neck.  I use a few rounds of belly breathing to help create some more space in my body.

Roll shoulders back and allow your chest to naturally lift and open up.

Keep neck, shoulders and jaw relaxed.  Soften your throat.

3:  Balance your ears over your feet:

Feel the weight of your body evenly distributed over your feet.  You can sway around a little until your find your natural centre or exagerate and notice what it feels like to have more weight towards your heels, toes or favouring either side of any foot.

Balance ears over shoulders,  shoulders over hips and hips over ankles.

To complete this posture simply activate the energy in your arms by stretching your fingers.

4:  Watch out for these common mistakes:

Leaning too far forward with your head.

Shoulders hunched or tight.

Knees jammed.  Keep them soft.

Stomach extending too far, spilling out energy.  Place one hand on your lower back and one hand on your abdomen to help tilt pelvis slightly forward.  I’m prone to a sway back so this is one minor adjustment I continually have to correct.


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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda March 3, 2010 at 2:29 am

awesome. thanks a lot.


Karen Bannan from NaturalAsPossibleMom March 4, 2010 at 6:06 am

What an amazing description and tutorial about what most people think is a really easy pose. I love how grounded and connected I feel when I really *do* mountain pose. When you try and spread your toes and feel the ground under your feet. It can be almost spiritual.

LOVE your blog, BTW. So glad I’ve found it! –KB


Carole Fogarty March 4, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Thanks Linda, glad you liked the post


Carole Fogarty March 4, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Hi Karen,

Thrilled you love mountain pose. I agree it can be quite spiritual drawing wonderful energy from the earth up into our bodies.

Look forward to chatting with you again.

Peace, love and chocolate



stephen May 3, 2010 at 8:05 am

Thanks for the article. I especially liked the part about opening the hands and fingers to feel the energy run in the arms. I hadn’t heard that one before and it feels great. -S


posture brace August 18, 2011 at 11:42 am

Mountain pose is one of the best posture correction exercises. It can really be beneficial in gaining a supple spine.


Aaronsven April 16, 2012 at 12:34 pm

This is great for meditating while hiking in the mountains,you don’t need to take your pack off.


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