Mountain pose is the fundamental posture that controls all the postures through its alignment and energetic qualities. Yogis call this ‘Tada’, meaning ‘mountain’ and the meaning of ‘asana’ is ‘pose’ or ‘seat’.
Mountain Pose is known as Tadasana, Equal Steady Standing, State of Balance, Samasthiti because it is said to embody the stability, strength, poise and peace of a mountain.
The feet are placed on the earth like the base of a mountain, while the body moves upwards to move towards the sky. In Ashtanga it is called Samasthiti, or Steady standing posture.
However, this is not just a description of the shape of the pose – it also mentions the energetic qualities and characteristics of the ‘gives mountain’ and gives us a true understanding of what it is trying to create in this pose.
This is also true for all other poses, with the deep meaning of being derived from poses that is beyond alignment within them.
It is important that we consider grounding: weight distribution between the legs, the position of the hips and pelvis, the alignment of the spine and how we are directing the breath.
Alignment and approach are important because they both reveal and influence a lot about the rest of our practice.
|Known as:||Mountain Pose, Tadasana, Prayer Pose, Samasthiti, Equal Standing Pose|
|Sanskrit name:||ताडासन; समस्थिति|
|Type:||Standing pose, Restorative|
|Total time:||10 to 30 seconds|
|Chahra:||Swadisthana Chakra, Muladhara Chakra|
|Indications:||Knees, thighs, ankles, back, digestive, nervous and respiratory systems|
|Counterposes:||Uttanasana, Ardha uttanasana, Adho mukha svanasana,|
|Preparatory poses:||Uttanasana, Phalakasana, Urdhva hastasana|
|Follow-up poses:||Utkatasana, Vrksasana, Anjanayasana|
|Contraindications:||Low blood pressure, Headaches, Insomnia|
Meaning + Origin
Tadasana or Samasthiti is derived from the Sanskrit name, which is made up of two words – Tada + asana or Sama + sthiti:
- “Tada” = “mountain“; “Sama” = “equal or balanced or level”
- “asana” = “pose or posture”; “sthiti” = “stand or standing still”
Tadasana or Samasthiti may sound like a “non-pose” to some people, but there is much more to discover. In an age where we move rapidly from one thing to another, learning to be strong, steady and unmoving like a mountain is beneficial to our mental, physical and spiritual health. As you stand in Tadasana or Samasthiti, pay attention to the subtleties of the pose. What can be discovered by remaining still? The more you practice Tadasana or Samasthiti, the more you will experience its meditative qualities, each breath inviting another step up the cosmic mountain until you quietly take in the incredible vistas from above.
Samasthiti in hatha yoga is unknown until the light on 20th-century yoga, but the pose appears in 1896 in Vyayama Dipika, a manual of gymnastics, a “very old” sequence of danda exercise. Norman Sjoman suggests that it is one of the poses adopted in modern yoga by Krishnamacharya as an exercise in Mysore and forms the “primary foundation” for his Vinyasas, with movements flowing between poses. Then his disciples Pattabhi Jois and B. K. S. Iyengar would have taken this pose.
Instructions of Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
- Stand with the base of your big toes, heels slightly wider (so that your other toes are parallel).
- Lift and spread your toes and balls of your feet, then lay them gently on the floor. Rock back and forth and side to side.
- With the legs evenly balanced, slowly reduce this speed to a standstill.
- Strengthen your thigh muscles and lift the knee cap, without tightening your lower abdomen.
- Raise the inner ankles to strengthen the inner arch, then draw a line of energy along your inner thighs to your gorge, and from there through the main part of your torso, neck, and head, and out through your crown of Head.
- Fold the upper thighs slightly inward. Extend your tailbone towards the floor and lift the pubis towards the navel.
- Push your shoulder blades into your back, then widen them and drop them under your back.
- Without moving your lower front rib, raise the top of your sternum directly towards the roof. Widen your collarbone. Hang your arms next to the torso.
- Balance the crown of your head directly in the center of your pelvis, the floor under your chin, the throat soft, and the tongue wide and flat parallel to the floor of your mouth. Close your eyes.
- Breathe easily and stay in the posture for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Look inward and acknowledge and accept an internal environment/energy beyond normal thinking
- Accept that this energy is of a higher knowing
- Be open to its purpose in you
- Drop stories from your past
- Forget about the future
- Live right and precisely in the present moment – breathe
- Watch and Observe your thoughts with tolerance – no judgment
- Develop yourself as a witness – Shaksin, free from identity
- Use your wisdom to stay internally still – unanimous
- Through peace you can hear the roar of existence and see yourself clearly like a mirror but there is no concern for what you observe
- Chant the Om Bija Mantra
- Surrender to Ishvara – Higher Power
- Drop your identity
- Honour the character – be a detached artist
- Choose love in every moment
The Bija Mantras are sounds endowed with great spiritual powers. The Bija Mantra frees us from all kinds of disease, any kind of fear, any kind of anxiety and every kind of attachment. If we want to get rid of any fear or sin, for any hindrance, for peace, for disaster, for destruction, then we should chant the Bija mantra.
Bija Mantra is part of many mantra compositions and hence they are like a battery of mantras. When chanted with concentration meditation and devotion, the Bija Mantra fulfills the wishes of the devotees and acts like a protective shield around them and protects them from all dangers and enemies.
Om Bija Mantra: Om Bija mantra represents the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Chanting this mantra fulfills all desires.
8 Variations of Mountain Pose (Samasthiti)
- Tadasana Namaskar (Mountain with Hands in Prayer): hands in Anjali Mudra (Hands in Prayer); feet to the front, toes lifted.
- Viparita Namaskar Tadasana (Reverse Prayer Mountain, Penguin Pose, Back of the Body Prayer Mountain, or Paschima Namaskara Tadasana): feet rotated out.
- Baddha Hasta Tadasana (Hands Bound Mountain)
- Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute Pose or Volcano Pose): arms shoulder width apart
- Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute Pose or Volcano Pose): palms pressed together
- Tadasana Urdhva Baddha Hastasana (Mountain – Raised Bound Hands or Parvatasana)
- Mountain – shoulder opener, intense version
- Lasyasana: both legs straight; one leg extended to the front, heel up; one arm up over the head reaching to the floor, other arm reaching up to the sky; deep backbend.
Precautions and Contraindications
If your knees are weak, keep your feet parallel and hip-width apart. Set a block between your middle and upper thighs and squeeze to strengthen your innermost quadricep muscle. Keep your spine lengthened without dramatically rounding your lumbar spine.
- Due to the balancing nature of the asana, avoid practice Tadasana if you are currently experiencing:
- This yoga pose may not be beneficial for individuals who find it difficult to stand for long periods of time with their feet together or otherwise.
- Weak leg muscles will not help in standing in this pose, even in the simplest posture without any changes.
- Locking the knee can be challenging for long periods of time, and therefore the practitioner must be careful.
- Avoid putting too much pressure on the spine by carrying the weight of the whole body. This can put more stress on the spine.
- Don’t work hard to keep the body up and steady at first, but work first by standing, even if the spine isn’t stretched or stretched. When the body is ready, move on to stretching a little, not too much. Work on it slowly.
Tip for Beginners
As a beginner, you may find it difficult to balance in this pose. To improve your balance, keep your inner feet about 3-6 inches apart until you are comfortable in the posture.
Tip for Pregnent women
Samasthiti is one of the fundamental asana of prenatal yoga that works wonders on pregnant women. It helps align your body and improves balance, especially since your center of gravity changes with the growing baby.
Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart and pointing your toes straight. Join your hands close to your heart together, your fingers pointing upwards. Close your eyes (if you are a beginner, then keep your eyes open) and breathe in and out slowly and continuously. If you feel comfortable doing this, then you can extend your hands above your head and also stretch your back.
Benefits of Mountain Pose (Tadasana or Samasthiti)
He says that if there was ever a blueprint pose, it was Samasthiti. This yoga asana works on your muscles so that your posture is not only better but also painless when you are in your sedentary desk job. This serves to align your skeleton and bring it back to a neutral position. When this happens, your body returns to the starting point for all other asanas to be followed.
As simple as it may sound, due to our excessive smartphone use and unhealthy sitting posture at work, there is always a tight muscle or lack of alignment. The asana cures all of them. The muscular effort it takes to get into this yoga asana helps to strengthen the core and straighten the round, weak back.
Here are some other amazing benefits of Samasthiti:
- This pose helps in improving the posture of the body.
- Regular practice of this pose makes your knees, thighs, and ankles strong. This pose reduces your flat feet. This pose also makes your spine more agile.
- It is a great, beneficial pose for those who want to increase their height in their formative years.
- Tadasana, also helps to improve balance.
- Your digestive, nervous and respiratory systems are regulated by practicing Samasthiti.