Updated: Mar 22, 2020
Hatha Yoga vs. other forms of Yoga. Even though these poses look similar, the body dynamics are different. Both these poses are often interchangeably used in modern Yoga.
The pose on the left is called Parvatasana a.ka. mountain pose according to Hatha yoga , an ancient discipline of Yoga. It represents the shape of a mountain and also gives strength and stability to the entire body. Hence the name- mountain pose. Please note that the feet and knees are together, and neck and head are in line with the spine. The umblicus is tucked towards the spine, pushing the hips away towards the ceiling with gaze forward. I find Parvatasana very convenient as it’s easy to transition to many other poses from this during a flow.
The pose on the right is known as Adhomukhasvanasana. This is a popular pose in the west also known as Downward facing dog. Feet and knees are hip distance apart, and the spine is slightly arched down with forearms almost parallel to the floor, neck can be bent down with a gaze towards umblicus bringing forehead towards the floor.
Both these poses have different purposes and benefits. I practice and teach Hatha yoga, so I mostly use Parvatasana! Parvatasana is the pose that comes in classical Sun Salutations. We should remember the differences and not confuse them withe each other. What do you practice? Mountain pose or downward dog?