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Mountain Pose: Tadasana

This pose is kind of a conundrum... probably one of the most basic, yet often the most difficult to achieve. Oddly, we find it difficult to be still, controlled, patient. Mountain pose is rooted in stillness, control and deep breath awareness, while setting you up for many other postures.

Translation: In Sanskrit, "tada" means "mountain." This pose is also referred to as amasthiti-asana – Sama meaning "still" or "unmoved," sthiti meaning standing strong or upright. The combination of the two: samasthiti, meaning standing firmly without moving.

Benefits: Improves posture, balance and self-awareness.

To Complete this Posture:

1. Stand tall, feet together, hands at your sides, eyes gazing forward.

2. Raise your toes, fan them open, then place them back down on the floor.

3. Create equal weight distribution by firmly planting the ball, heel and edges of both feet, rooting into the floor.

4. Tilt your pubic bone up slightly.

5. Raise your chest up and out, standing with your best elongated posture.

6. Lengthen neck but don’t raise your chin. Imagine someone is pulling a thread out of the top of your head, pulling your entire body up.

7. Push firmly into the floor.

8. Breathe deeply in and out. Imagine the breath circulating throughout your body in an upward motion. When exhaling imagine breath circulating downwards, back into the earth.

9. Hold pose for 15-20 seconds, relax and repeat.

10. After a series of at least five repetitions, raise your arms over head on an inhale (Urdhava Hastasana) with your hands separated, reaching for the sky. Hold for five breaths. Lower your arms on an exhale.

Stefanie Payne

I am a product development lead in NASA's human exploration deep space program at headquarters in Washington, DC. When I am not telling the story of human exploration in space, my focus is on writing about travel on Earth—with articles appearing in The Huffington Post, The Travel Channel, blogs for The National Geographic Society, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessInsider, IBTimes and more. ...(Read More)

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