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1. From a standing position, bring the feet together or hip width apart, parallel. Lift up the toes, spread them wide and place them back on the floor. Feel your weight evenly balanced through the bottom of each foot, not leaning forward or back.
2. Pull up the knee caps, squeeze the thighs and tuck the tailbone slightly under. Feel the hips aligned directly over the ankles. The legs are straight, but the knees are not locked back.
3. Inhale and lift out of the waist, pressing the crown of the head up towards the ceiling, feeling the spine long and straight.
4. Exhale and drop the shoulders down and back as you reach the fingertips towards the floor. Gently press the chest / sternum towards the front of the room.
5. Continuing to reach out through the fingers, inhale the arms up, turning the palms shoulder height, bringing the arms into a H position.
6. Exhale relax the shoulders down from the ears while still reaching the crown and fingers up.
7. Breathe and hold for 4-8 breaths.
8. To release: exhale the arms down to your sides or bring the palms together in front of your chest.
Benefits: Mountain pose is the foundation for all of the standing postures and improves posture, groundedness, stability and confidence.
Contraindications: Recent or chronic injury to the shoulders.
Variations: There are multiple variations on the placement of the hands: A) Fingers interlaced with index finger pointing up, B) Arms down with the palms resting against the outer thighs, C) Palms together in front of the heart in Anjali mudra (Samasthiti / Equal Standing pose).