The Mountain is based on a traditional yoga master pose (meaning it affects every system in your body). It’s a warm-up exercise that loosens and relaxes your spine, shoulders, and neck. It opens up your chest, back, and spine for vitality, and for these reasons, it’s good for your posture. The exercise also establishes a foundation so you can focus on concentration and is wonderful for developing balance and coordination.

Grab your hand weights before you climb the Mountain. When you’re ready to go, follow these steps:

1. Stand with your legs as far apart as your hips and your toes pointing straight ahead, and let the hand weights dangle at your sides with your palms facing backward. This is the starting position. Look straight ahead with your chin neither lifted nor lowered.

2. As you inhale to a count of four, step forward with your right leg and lift the weights above your shoulders. Keep your arms straight and raise them directly above your shoulders. Draw your belly in and up and your tailbone down for support. Focus on how you distribute your body weight as you step forward. If you feel any pinching in your shoulders or neck, you can lift the weights halfway up, perpendicular to your body. As you lift, the heel of your back foot may leave the floor, but keep the ball of your foot planted. Concentrate on your breathing and alignment during the lift. Make sure your breathing is steady and even. Don’t shrug your shoulders.

3. As you exhale to a count of four, lower your arms and step back into the starting position. Lower the weight in time to your breathing. Don’t look up or look down — gaze straight ahead.

Alternating legs, repeat this exercise six to eight times with each leg. Pause to rest, and then do six to eight more repetitions with each leg.

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Categories: Yoga