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How to Yoga: Mountain Pose

Hi. I'm Liz McDonald teaching from my studio Brazilian Yoga and Pilates in Los Angeles here to show you Mountain Pose. Now Mountain Pose, isn't just standing. It may look like just standing but it's not. Why? Because standing for most of us means hanging out, my cool pose right? But what we're after at Mountain Pose is we're after symmetry. The kind of symmetry that could stand like a mountain. So, we wanna make ourselves very comfortable in the position and we also want to look for great posture. The other thing about Mountain Pose and the reason why it's so important in the yoga practice is because we believe it is a foundation for all other poses. So, in any other pose whether it's about (Casana?) or side arm balance, we always are searching for that symmetrical alignment. It's almost like we're trying to return to that perfect design and symmetry in our bodies when we stand and it's a great thing to be able to train so that next time you are waiting in line at the grocery store or wherever, instead of standing into a pose that could start creating problems in the body, you are going to revert to Mountain Pose which is a pose you can sustain and hopefully maintain a little bit more of your calm and if you're like me, waiting in line can sometimes induce a little bit of anxiety. So, I go in some Mountain Pose and take a few breaths to regroup. All right. So, talking about the alignment of Mountain Pose is the number one thing. We want out hips to be directly over feet. So, our feet are hip with the part. We want out feet to be straight and what that means in the yoga world is that the knuckle of the second toe lines up to the middle of the back of the heel so it should look just like the number 11 when you're looking down at it. Then the shoulder girdle is nicely balanced over the pelvis. Our gaze is forward and our palms might even say (??) of the room. By doing this, we can open up the collarbone across the front and the real magic of Mountain Pose happens when you start to embody the mountain. Take a few breaths and start to see the body (circumductively?). Imagine the expanding in the front, sides and back evenly in all directions. As if you are looking at a mountain from above. Any ideas to become so comfortable in our own alignment that we could stand here forever and be pain free. Now, most people do not succeed at Mountain Pose. So, I'm gonna spice it up a little bit and include a block and this will help a lot of us that have flat feet right? To start to really discover the (expanse?) on this Mountain Pose. It's a really common movement pathology because of shoes for our arches to be clasped and for our feet to be flat. When that happens, what also happens is the knee starts to knock and the whole mid line begins to sag. People who have been standing this way their whole life will start to develop bunions and other things later on in life. So, a great thing that Mountain Pose can offer us is rebuilding the arches in the foot which is going to be a fantastic gift for the rest of the body because the feet are the foundation upon which the rest of the house is built. So, let's take a block and we're gonna put it right between the thighs. Now positioning the block here, we're gonna stack ourselves up nice and straight and externally rotate the thighs so they're going to begin swirling upwards towards the size of that so that the block feels like it's coming forward. In fact it is but you can feel that happening on the inner thighs. Once that happens, the arches in the feet turn on and all of the leg muscles start to stack up you solid foundation. Once we have that, we can find a little bit more freedom in the upper body. So you may wanna wiggle out the shoulders or roll out the neck a little bit until you find that place, a perfect piece where you can close your eyes and take a few really deep connected breath. You can stand in Mountain Pose forever but I say once you have found the feeling of the mountain and that extensive expansiveness then you have mastered Mountain Pose and can take it out into the world, into the grocery store or the gas station wherever you most need it. I'm Liz teaching from my studio Brazilian Yoga and Pilates in Los Angeles. Thank you so much for watching.