Pose Breakdown – Tadasana

•Tadasana – Mountain Pose•

This pose seems simple – “just” standing – but there are so many components to standing well. Having a good understanding of this pose can help you maintain proper alignment throughout the sun salutations, standing poses, and inversions. Check out the pictures below to see common misalignments and tips for fixing them.

The Feet

Common Misalignments

1. Toes turned out.

2. Pronation – Inner arches of the feet collapsed to the floor and inner ankles move toward the midline.

3. Supination – Outer arches of the feet collapsed to the floor and outer ankles bowing out.

The feet are the foundation of this pose. What happens here affects the alignment of the knees, pelvis, lower back, and so on up the body. To set up the feet correctly:

4. Stand with the feet parallel to each other. They can be hip bone distance apart (as pictured) or together. When the feet are parallel the second toes point directly ahead and are in line with the center of your heels. Spread your toes. Press down evenly through the four corners of your feet – base of your big toe, base of your pinky toe, inner heels, and outer heels. Equally lift the inner and outer arches of the feet up.

The Pelvis

Common Misalignments:

1. Anterior Pelvic Tilt – The pelvis tips forward and the lower back sways. Sometimes accompanied by pronation of the feet.

2. Posterior Pelvic Tilt – The pelvis tips back and the natural curve of the lower back flattens. Sometimes accompanied by toes turned out and supination of the feet.

– To create a neutral pelvis – Once you have established good alignment in the feet, firm the quadriceps. Equally release the inner thighs back and lengthen the flesh of the buttocks toward the heels. Firm the outer hips in.

The Shoulder Girdle

Common Misalignments –

1. Top Right – Upper back rounded, shoulder heads rolling forward, forward head posture. This is very common, especially for people who sit often. For instance those with desk jobs and long commutes. (Pay attention to this when you are on your cell phone, too.)

2. Bottom right – Upper arms drawn back, shoulder blades squeezed together, chest puffed up. Sometimes the result of an over correction to the top right.

– Left – After setting up the feet and pelvis, lengthen through all four sides of the torso evenly. Place the upper arms in line with the sides of your torso and turn the inner upper arms (biceps) and palms to face forward. Widen across the collarbones and between the shoulder blades. Lengthen the sides of the neck evenly and gaze straight forward.