Reclined Poses

Supta Tadasana (Reclined Mountain Pose)

Level: All levels

Supta = reclined. Tada = mountain.

Not just a fancy name for lying on your back on the floor. Thinking of this pose as a reclined version of Tadasana (Mountain Pose) gives you the benefit of the floor's support as well as the different orientation of gravity on the body to help you understand the basic joint movements in the body. Once you start to take the arms up alongside the ears while lying on the back, the effects of stiffness in the shoulders can quickly become apparent. In order to compensate for not opening the shoulder joint and opening the armpits, the front ribs pop up and the ribcage tilts up towards the collarbones. Additionally, the weight of the thighs pushes the tailbone down to the floor and causes the lower back to pop up.

Organizing the Pose

    • Lie flat on your back on the floor.
    • Bring the legs together, joining the inner edges of the feet so that the middle of the heel is on the floor and the toes are pointing up towards the ceiling.
    • Take the arms along the sides of the body and rest the backs of the hands on the floor.
    • Rest the head on the back of the skull so that the eyes look straight up and the chin is neutral, neither falling away from the chest (shortening the back of the neck) nor falling into the chest (compressing the throat).
    • Spread through the toes and the balls of the feet, keeping the soles of the both feet flat, as if you were still standing upright.
    • Stretch the legs out of the waist.
    • Broaden the buttocks and lengthen them down towards the heels so that the lower back lengthens and, at the same time, press the thighs firmly down into the floor.
    • Anchor the sides of the waist down towards the floor (though not so much that you flatten the back down on the floor and remove the natural curvature of the spine).
    • Lengthen the sides of the ribcage toward the head, away from the waist.
    • Lift and open the chest, broadening through the back at the same time.
    • Roll the shoulders down to the floor and tuck the shoulder blades into the back.
    • Bring the arms up towards the ceiling with the arms parallel and the hands facing each other and directly above the shoulders.
    • Keep the back ribs broad and grounded as you bring the arms into an overhead position.
    • Reach the wrists out of the sides of the trunk.
    • Stretch the heels away from the wrists and the wrists away from the heels.
    • Hold the position for several breaths.