Upward Mountain

Have you mastered the mountain pose and are beginning to feel more grounded to the earth through your feet? Adding in a challenge, such as Upward Mountain, may be what your yoga practice needs.

This is another pose that appears to be super simple, but there are many systems at work within your body to assist in keeping you upright. Instead of focusing on using this pose as a means to transition to a more Instagram-approved pose, use this pose to help you find center and grounding when you are trying to balance all the things in your life.

Stand with your feet comfortably beneath you, hips or shoulders-width apart, depending on your comfort in your balance. Allow yourself a breath or a short pause to feel the ground on the four corners of your feet. Breathe deeply and on an exhale allow your arms to reach over head. When your arms are where you feel comfortable, focus on your shoulders, allow them to roll up and around out of your ears and down your back. Allow your knees to bend ever so slightly and your hip points move forward, rather than back to decrease any arching you may feel in your back.

Feeling dizzy or off-balance? Use a focal point in front of you, and not looking at your hands. When you are looking up or to one side or the other, there are more complex body systems at work which impact your balance and body position.

In this pose you have just been working on postural stability, body awareness, increasing sensory input to the proprioceptive system and vestibular system, as well as coping for any retained primitive reflexes. When OTs work with individuals who have retained primitive reflexes, there is a focus on postural stability, proprioceptive input for calming, and integrating reflexes as well as other hindrances that impact an individual’s ability to self regulate.

For more information on how occupational therapy could be helpful for you or a loved one, contact a primary physician and your insurance.

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