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Yoga Break 4: Mountain Pose & WuYi

Stand strong and tall, like a mountain!
Stand strong and tall, like a mountain!
Get inspired with the flavor of a high-mountain tea.
Get inspired with the flavor of a high-mountain tea.
If Plank pose is your foundation for all horizontal movement (quadruped, pushups, anything that engages you on all fours), then let Mountain pose be your foundation for all things upright and vertical.

Overhead press, farmer's carries — all those glorious functional motions that we need as humans to survive. You don't have to be hoisting mammoths every day to earn the right to a solid frame! If you have a backbone (or several, as is common with vertebrae,) then you are entitled to use it as much as possible. Think strong, tall, powerful thoughts — become a mountain!

A good Mountain pose — aka Tadasana — requires a good mountain tea. WuYi will do you well. It's earthy and grounding, exactly what you need to root yourself to your goals and responsibilities. The leaves are plucked from the eponymous mountain range in China, where they collect a rich, mineral flavor as they mature. Don't be surprised if you taste granite — a single sip is laden with a multitude of textures and flavors, much like the actual rock from whence it came. It's not harsh, rather more along the lines of dried fruit and nut-smoke.

If you require something caffeine-free, then get yourself a favorite mountain herb: chamomile. Traditionally used as a sleep aid, be careful when sipping midday — you don't want to fall asleep on your feet! (That's Horse stance, buddy.)

1) Prep the tea, water, and cup. By now, you should be a pro at this.
2) Set your cup to steep.
3) Face the nearest source of vitamin D — hopefully your room has a window — and breathe.
Anchor your toes to the ground,
your feet to your toes,
your ankles to your feet,
your calves to your ankles,
your shins to your calves,
your knees to your shins,
your thighs to your knees,
your butt to your thighs,
your hips to your butt,
your stomach to your hips,
your ribs to your stomach,
your spine to your ribs,
your back to your spine,
your shoulders to your back,
your arms to your shoulders,
your elbows to your arms,
your wrists to your elbows,
your fingers to your wrists,
and reach up, into the sky with your fingers.

4) Press those palms together overhead, keeping your feet well aligned under your shoulders and hips. Close your eyes and think mountain thoughts: tall, confident, and strong. You are resilient against defeat.

(Not quite resilient against oversteeped tea, however! Before you get lost in the clouds, make sure that you have prepared a timer during Step 1. WuYi is good to stand for two to three minutes, and so are you — until Grandma starts texting, or your nose starts to itch. Use your breath to fight outside temptation until that timer rings!)

5) When the timer goes off, open your eyes. Find your cup and sip deeply, centered through your mountain core.

You can always try this last step with your eyes closed, but please be mindful to all fledgling yogis. Your results — and cleaning bills — may vary.

Peace!