PYRAMID POSE | PARSVOTTANASANA
We're welcoming the change of season with Pyramid Pose as our Pose of the Month for September. It's also known as Intense Side Stretch pose with Parsva meaning side or flank, and Uttana implies an intense stretch. The name of this asana refers to a pose that stretches the side of the chest intensely.
There's lots of fun variations of this pose. Hands can stay on hips, or you can try joining your palms together behind your back in reverse prayer or holding opposite elbows. You can also reach the hands to the ground and use blocks if they don't quite get there. Try making it deeper by extending the arms forward without laying on top of the thigh, or reaching the arms backwards to the back heel. If you're feeling spicy try lift the back foot off the ground for a balance like a tripod! This is a great pose to transition into poses like Revolved Triangle Pose & Revolved Half Moon Pose.
How to get into the pose
Find a stance with a legs about 1-1.5 metres apart. You want to try and keep your back heel grounded. Hips should be in a neutral position and you can widen your stance like you are standing on train tracks. The back foot can rotate out 45 - 60 degrees and your front foot pointing forwards checking the knee is in line with the centre of ankle.
As your back hip turns forward, push the head of the back thigh back to anchor the heel to the ground. Push your outer thighs inwards as if you are squeezing a block in between your thighs. Make your shoulders firm against the back portion of your body, stretch your tailbone toward the ground and slightly arch the back of your upper torso.
On an exhale, bend your upper body forward from the groin towards the front leg. Bring your torso parallel to the ground. Keep your fingertips on the ground on either side of the right foot. If you are not able to touch the ground, keep your hands on a pair of blocks. Push the thighs back and stretch the upper body forward and lift through the top of the sternum.
For a few breaths, hold your body and head parallel to the ground. Then, if you are flexible enough, pull the front part of body closer to the top of the thigh. Stay in this position for 15-30 seconds and then return up while inhaling and pushing actively through the back heel and pressing the tailbone first down and then deep into the pelvis.
- Stretches the shoulders, hips, hamstrings, spine and wrists in the full pose.
- Strengthens the legs.
- Stimulates the organs situated in the abdominal region.
- Improves and stimulates digestion.
- Improves posture and overall sense of balance.
- Improves the condition of flat feet.
- Calms and relaxes the brain.