Mountain Pose is one of the most practiced and functional postures in yoga.

It’s popular because it serves as a home base for all of the standing postures. If you are in a group yoga class and working through a series of Sun Salutations, you are coming in and out of Mountain Pose as your grounding and reference point.

Mountain Pose is functional because we can utilize our embodied experience of this posture when we are standing, especially with prolonged standing.

Ever experience back pain after a day of touring through a museum? The slow walking and slumped standing will often be the precursor for soreness in the low back. How can we offset this? We can practice Mountain Pose while standing and admiring the art on display.

Instructions for Mountain Pose

  • Stand with your feet hip distance apart.
  • Feel your weight evenly distributed on the four points of foot: inside and outside of the ball of the foot, inside and outside of the heel. Be mindful that your right and left feet are receiving equal weight distribution.
  • Stack your pelvis on top of your feet and rib cage on top of your pelvis. Read more about optimal standing posture.
  • Set your shoulder blades (see tip below).
  • Lift up tall thru your head, lengthening the back of your neck.

Tip: How to set your shoulder blades

I learned this in a course from the Institute of Physical Art many years ago and still find it super helpful.

  1. Raise your shoulders up towards your ears.
  2. Keep your shoulders high as you turn your arms out, palms facing forward.
  3. Keep your palms forward as you slide your shoulder blades down your back.
  4. Relax your arms as you keep your shoulder blades set back on the ribs.

Bring shoulders up
Turn your palms out
Slide shoulder blades down
Relax your arms

I worked with a patient many years ago who was experiencing pelvic and sacroiliac (SI) joint pain everytime she came into Mountain Pose during our yoga class. We found that if she put a small bend in her knees she was able to maintain a pain-free standing posture while in class.

So, if you find standing is not comfortable, play around with it. Try bending your knees, widening your feet, changing your pelvic angle, or even try Mountain Pose in sitting.

You can do Mountain Pose anywhere, including while out among the mountains. Next time you take in a beautiful landscape, ground your feet a