5 Ways to use Mountain Pose for Better Posture Everyday
How often do we stand in our daily lives do we stand with little to no awareness of our posture? Often times, even in yoga, we skip over mountain pose and its subtleties. We want to stand on our heads and twist into pretzels. First, we must understand how to stand on our own two feet. Once we have mastered this simple yet essential posture we can use the fundamental principles of this posture in almost every other asana (pose). Not to mention, we can use these principles to carry us through our day! We generate confidence, stand correctly, and create energy.
1. Rooting of the Feet
As we draw awareness to the feet we connect to the ground. The pressing of the big toe into the ground create and energetic connection to the floor and the slight lifting on the inner arch draws the energy up the leg. Awareness in the pinky toe and rooting in the heel stabilizes the foot. Stability and connection to the ground is essential. It helps us in our postures and it helps us to stay grounded emotionally.
2. Inner Spiral of the Thighs
The slight engagement and hugging inwards of the thighs draws the energy up and in from the ground toward the center line. This inner spiral is essential to maintain balance and connection to the core. The quadriceps are incredibly powerful muscles and when activated correctly they can completely shift the body’s integration by activation. Circulation generated from the quads creates a powerful flow of energy. Try activating the quads and spiral them in next time you feel tired. Feel the surge of energy! It is subtle yet powerful.
3. Engagement of the Low Belly
In yoga, we call this Mula Bandha and Uddiyanda Bandha. Bandha means “lock” or hold. In Mula Bandha we lift through the pelvic floor and anus creating the sensation of holding in your pee. The second Bhanda is Uddiyana Bandha. This is the slight lifting and sucking in of the low abdomen, stomach, and diaphragm. These first locks draw the energy up to the torso. These locks can be applied in every posture to contain the energy that is being cultivated through each asana. This lock also paves the way to tight sexy abs! If you are engaging your low belly when you walk and stand you will have less belly fat and tighter abs!
4. Tuck of the Chin
The final lock or Bandha in mountain pose is called Jalandhara. This slight tuck of the chin controls the flow of the energy through the head and neck. Often times we reach our neck forward craning and straining the neck in postures and in life. This slight tuck or retraction of the chin allows the vertebrates in the cervical spine to stack. A relaxed neck releases stress and allows for proper posture. Perhaps this tuck of the chin allows you to find presence instead or reaching and straining for control of the future.
5. Lifting Through the Crown of the Head
The last action in mountain pose is to imagine that a string is lifting the top of the head to the sky. Scientifically the crown chakra is host to the pineal gland which regulates happiness, sleep, and reproduction cycles. Energetically, this lifting through the crown of the head (Sahasrara) allows for connection outside the self, tapping into divinity. Connection to the crown allows us to stand up tall, be happy, be in tune with how we feel, and connect to our creative and divine energy- anytime!
So next time you are standing in line at the bank, the supermarket, the or the movies. See if you can find your mountain pose and experience the effects outside of the yoga studio. You might just surprise yourself with what you discover.
Happy standing and thank you for reading!