Yoga for Stress relief (Mountain Pose)

Okay… I’ve decided to really start writing down some of the poses that I find helpful.

Yeah… it sounds like a big deal.  It is standing up… that’s about it…

Don’t do this pose if you have plantar fascitis.  Don’t do this pose if you have sever imbalance.  Modify the time you are in this pose if you are in pain, particularly in your ankles.  Modify this pose by standing with your back at the wall to help with the “I’m going to fall” feeling.

Respect the natural curve of the spine…

This pose helps keep you in focus… focusing your gaze at a spot on the wall in front of you helps… so does closing your eyes but closing your eyes makes balance harder… and places awareness on your feet being connected to the floor (very grounding).  Think about the way your breath feels entering and leaving your body.  DON’T think about work or stress or anything that will make you tense.

1. Stand straight with your feet together.  If you can’t do together and touching, spread them just a bit.  Hip width apart works great.  It gives you are more sturdy base.  Balance, the best you can, so your weight is distributed across the four corners of your feet (both feet… 8 corners)

Take a deep breath to center yourself and enliven your body.  Firm your abdominal muscles… pull your belly button in towards your spine.

2. Spread your toes out like a fan if you can.  If you can’t DON’T… there is no right way, no wrong way… just the way that you do it to be true to your practice and true to yourself.

3. Distribute your weight evenly across both feet… again… the four corners of each foot.

4. Lift the kneecaps by tightening the thighs.

5. Move your thighs back and tailbone in.

6. Straighten the arms, palms facing in.

7. Pull your shoulder blades back and lift the chest.

8. Keep your neck and shoulders relaxed.

9. Look straight ahead.

Hold for 1 to 2 minutes.

Focus Points: Don’t just stand passively! Activate every part of your body, from your heels to your head.

To add to the pose, you can stretch your arms up over your head towards the sky…. reaching up but keep your gaze forward.

to add more to the pose, clasp your hands over your head if you can to stretch the shoulders more and deepen the pose.

DON’T add more if you can’t… this is to make you feel better, not worse!!!

Other Benefits: Strengthens and tones the whole body. Improves alignment. Creates balance.

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