Pyramid Pose/ Intense Stretch Pose (Parsvottanasana)

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Pyramid Pose/ Intense Stretch Pose (Parsvottanasana) Pose | Standing

Pyramid Pose 1

Pyramid Pose 2

As the name suggests this pose is an intense stretch for the entire body. Our legs secure us firmly to the ground as our spine falls forward calling upon balance and concentration while promoting inner calm.

  1. Standing in Tadasana, turn your right foot out slightly. Then, step the left leg forward so that your stance is fairly wide, yet comfortable. If you feel too wide or too close, adjust your stance. You will be looking over your left leg, your hips squared with the left leg.
  2. Take the arms behind the back holding onto your forearms. Stand here for a few cycles of breath to gain a sense of balance, root your legs into the ground and to feel the stretch in the legs.
  3. Inhale deeply while lifting the chest and looking upward, being careful not to strain the neck. Begin to exhale while bending forward, leading with the chest. Come down toward your left leg and tuck your chin in towards your chest, when you reach your limit. Concentrate and hold, while breathing fluidly.
  4. If balance is compromised, release the arms so that your fingertips gently touch the floor on both sides of the foot. If you cannot reach the floor, place them on your leg, without depending on the leg for support. You will need to bring your awareness into the lower back for support.
  5. Breathe into the backs of the legs where you feel the stretch. Lengthen the spine, deepening the pose on your exhalation.
  6. To come out of the pose, inhale and roll the torso up starting from the base of the spine. When you are upright again, allow the breath to guide your reflection before stepping your feet together. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens and stretches entire leg and back
  • Strengthens and tones abdomen; improves digestive system
  • Massages liver and stomach
  • Improves complexion, hair, eyes and cools the brain

Cautionary Notes/Modifications:

  • Adjust your back foot to accommodate the rotation toward your forward leg.
  • Variation: clasp hands behind the back and extend the arms away from you as you fold forward
  • Before descending the torso, open the shoulders, lengthen the spine as you look upward starting at about 45 degrees, (more if your neck is strong and uncompromised) coming into a back bend.
  • Do not come down into the final posture if you are suffering from any abdominal illnesses