Yoga in a GIF-y: Parsvottanasana

December 17, 2017

This week we’ll revisit Parsvottonasana, Pyramid pose, combining the arm movement with the powerful position of the legs.


The pose stretches the hamstrings, calves and spine and when paired with Parsvottanasana arms, taps in the shoulder and chest muscles.


Pyramid pose is both strengthening and calming and a great way to teach the body how to square the hips to the front of the mat to prepare for poses such as Virabhadrasana I (Warrior 1).


We’ll work on two versions of the pose today, with the arms wrapped around behind your back as well as the hands resting on blocks.


Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Stand at the front of your mat with your feet as wide as your hips, outer edges of the feet parallel to one another. 

  2. Lift the left foot off the floor and step it around two-thirds of the way down your mat - about 3 to 4 feet back. Keep the left heel lifted.

  3. Bring your hands to your hips and guide your hips so that they’re facing the front of the mat, level with one another. This might mean that the left foot will need to turn in and placed at a 45-60 degree angle to the back of the mat with the left heel now firmly planted into the floor.

  4. Keep your hands on your hips.

  5. Alternatively, If you’d like to try wrapping the arms behind your back replace step 4 with this: hold onto opposite elbows with opposite hands or bring the palms to touch.

  6. On an inhale, lift the chest.

  7. As you exhale, hinge from the hips and come forward.

  8. Either keep your arms wrapped or position your hands on blocks placed on either side of your front foot and stay for 5 cycles of breath.

  9. To come out of the pose, strengthen the left leg and as you inhale, lift your chest back up.

  10. Repeat steps 2-9 on the other side.


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