Pyramid Pose (Parsvottonasana)

HP_220_Parsvottasana_2481 via yoga journal parsh-voh-tahn-AHS-anna
Pose Type: Standing

Pyramid pose positions the body in a pyramid (inverted V) shape with the torso revolving over the front leg while the hands are in reverse prayer position behind the back. Pyramid is a standing yoga posture that combines all of the benefits of two primary features: forward bending and balancing. It is an intense stretch for the entire body. The legs are firmly on the ground while the spine falls forward. It requires balance and focus and promotes inner calm.

The pose helps prepare the body for seated forward folds, inversions, and twists. It is particularly helpful for stretching the hamstrings and chest. It you have trouble with the balance, step the feet slightly wider to give a wider base. Parsvottanasana challenges your serenity and flexibility, and the more you practice Pyramid post, the more confidence you’ll have in your ability to balance in other poses.

Pose Sequence

This pose is most often begun from Tadasana, or Mountain pose:

  1. Step one foot back about 3-4 feet with hips facing the front of your mat. Turn the back foot about 45 degrees away from the body.
  2. Line up your knees with the center of your ankles and press both feet actively into the floor. Engage the legs and pull the knee caps upward and the thighs into the hips.
  3. Place your hands in reverse prayer position behind your back.
  4. Inhale and lengthen the body and as you exhale, hinge from the hips and lean your torso over the front leg.
  5. Keep your spine straight as you fold over the front leg bringing the belly to the thigh.
  6. Hold the pose for up to 5 breaths.

To come out of the pose, engage the core and actively push through the back heel while pulling the tailbone down as you come up with a straight back. Shake out the hands and wrists and prepare to move into the pose on the other side.

Benefits of Pyramid Pose – Parsvottonasana

The benefits of this pose include:

  • Strengthens the legs and knees
  • Improves balance and digestion
  • Massages the liver and stomach
  • Stretches the legs, hips, spine, shoulders and wrists

Firmly engage the muscles on the front of the thighs and hip flexors to protect the hamstrings in Parsvottonasana.

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By Virginia O'Connor

Co-founder of and writer/content manager.