Yoga for Beginners: Mountain Pose

By Brittany Risher |

Feel strong, stable, and focused with this foundational yoga pose.

Mountain pose isn't complicated, but it's one of the most important yoga poses to master. It builds strength, helps you find balance, and keeps you rooted in the present moment, rather than ruing over the past or worrying about the future.

“Mountain pose serves as the foundation for everything we do in yoga,” says Terecita “Ti” Blair, the 2017 SilverSneakers Instructor of the Year. “It’s a perfect pose to practice mindfulness, balance, breath work, and even strength if you choose.”

When life feels like it's moving too fast or you're a little off-kilter, come to mountain pose to feel firmly planted and safe. Here's how.

As always, safety is key. The exercises here may be different or more advanced than those you’ll experience in a SilverSneakers class. If you have a chronic condition, an injury, or balance issues, talk to your doctor about how you can exercise safely.

Step #1: Place Feet Shoulder-Width Apart

Stand tall, and feel your feet rooted into the ground. You can also do mountain pose sitting tall in a chair.

Step #2: Bend Knees Softly

Maintain a slight bend in your knees the whole time. This will help you feel stable and connected to the ground. If you're sitting, bend your knees so your feet are comfortably rooted into the ground.

Step #3: Roll Your Shoulders

Roll your shoulders up, back, and down, making as much space as possible between your shoulders and ears.

Step #4: Face Palms Forward

Let your arms hang naturally with your palms facing forward. Lift your chest, keeping your chin parallel with the floor.

You're now in mountain pose. Stand or sit tall. Breathe, feeling your strength and stability.

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Step #5: Make It Your Own

Lift your arms to the sky, or cactus them out to the sides with elbows bent at 90 degrees. For more chest expansion, extend your arms behind you.

Want to challenge your balance? Try lifting your heels and finding stillness like a solid mountain.

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