This time of year, it feels like the earth is asleep, the mountains to my west are covered in snow, mostly. Not enough snow, honestly- I worry about the snow-pack, and how the lack of snow in the mountains means we may have a fiery spring and summer. We usually get a lot more snow in March and April, the way some places get rainy springs, we get snowy springs.
Oops, not a very click-baity way to start a blog post about yoga, worrying about wildfire season.
Mountain Pose is one of those poses that isn’t really a pose- it isn’t one of those twist yourself into a pretzel and make everybody go “wow!” kind of deals. It is a way of standing, and being aware of how you are standing, and being aware of being aware. It’s very meta.
So, start with feet about hips width apart, pointing straight forward. Feel this- hip bones are narrower than the meaty outside of your hips, narrower than your shoulders. Feel how your feet touch the ground. claw your toes into the mat, and notice how that affects your arches. relax, and notice that, too.
Lift your toes up and spread them wide. Notice if this is hard or easy. You are using tiny little muscles in the fronts of your shins- how strong are those muscles? Not as strong as your glutes and quads, I bet.
Check in with those- if your feet are pointing forward, are your thighs pointing forward, too? Are your knee pits straight backward? Yeah…knee pits are a thing. Now, imagine you are spreading the floor apart with your feet, then relax.
Keep scanning up, is your pelvis level? Are your ribs level? My dad used to do this thing when he was being photographed, he would go into “parade rest” where he would suck in his gut and throw out his chest and pull his shoulders back. Don’t do that…. You are standing straight, not at attention.
Try swaying from side to side slightly, feeling how your center of balance changes, then sway front and back, then circles. Slowly come to a still point.
You don’t have to roll out the mat to do this, you can do it whenever you are standing, waiting, for the chatty barista to finish making the 6 frappuchinos (I mean really, who orders 6 frappuchinos!? oops, wait, almost forgot to breathe…)
Don’t forget to breathe.