There are different styles of Yoga poses with many names. But, most important when initiating any Yoga posture, hold and repeat it slowly several times. Through continuous practice, poses can be strengthened, lengthened and aligned. “Extended Mountain Pose” is a modified backbend as beautifully initiated by Gold’s Gym practitioners, Bharti, Ranjan, Annette, Norma and Vicki.
The benefit of “Extended Mountain Pose” is loosening and lengthening the spine through the hip flexors and sacrum. This pose focuses on reaching backwards with long arms held next to the ears in alignment with the spine.
When poses involve the little vertebrate of the neck caution is encouraged as these vertebrae are fragile and we want to avoid straining them by dropping the head back. We want to strengthen the neck supported by the spine.
Let’s Practice “Extended Mountain Pose”
Stand in the center of a Yoga mat in Tadasana or “Mountain Pose.” In this pose, feet are shoulder width apart and pointed straight forward. The buttocks and abdomen are tightened so the spine is straight. Arms are lengthened down by each side and relaxed. The neck is in line with the shoulders and lifted out of the neck. When you feel balanced with weight equally distributed down through each leg, you are ready to begin “Extended Mountain Pose.”
Raise both arms long, upper arms touch the ears. Inhale deeply and feel the spine lengthening. Gradually, as you begin each inhale and exhale, round the spine from the waist as you lift up and slowly curve the spine back. The head remains between the upper arms. Each time you inhale and exhale, slowly roll to the back and hold the pose. Keep the feet firmly implanted into he mat without gripping the toes. Be sure to be aware of alignment: Are your hips in alignment over the feet? Hold the pose for a count of 15 and then slowly bring the arms overhead and forward. Repeat the pose five times.
This is a great posture to do at the end of the day to release tension. Often sitting long hours at a desk, our neck is curved to one side holding a phone or other objects. Refresh your mind and body after physical/mental/emotional tension of the day by practicing “Extended Mountain Pose.”