How to do Pyramid Pose

Apr 20

How to do Pyramid Pose

Sanksrit: Parsvottanasana

Day 4 of the #Splits30 Instagram Challenge is Pyramid Pose 

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The strap will help your front femur descend into the hip socket, and help you feel and understand where the hips should be. As your front thigh bone draws back, your back thigh bone will organically shift correctly into place. Simultaneously, your back foot will naturally press down into the strap, and this will help you understand how much rooting needs to happen in your feet, especially your big toes.

As the video shows, it’s important to lift the hips up before bending forward. Think of moving up and over, instead of just forward. This will create the strength needed to lengthen the spine and the entire body.

Parsvottanasana will lengthen the entire backaside of your body. When in the fullest expression of the pose, you will feel a stretch from the base of your skull, down to your heels.

There are many opposite directions of energy happening in this pose, meaning that you must find both effort and return throughout the body in a harmonious way. In our normal day-to-day lives, efforts and returns look like alertness and relaxation, often existing in opposition to each other. But on the mat, we must learn how to inhabit both of these qualities in our bodies.

When balance inhabits one’s body, the pose looks effortlessly fierce and calm.

Benefits

  1. Opens the hamstrings
  2. Releases lower back
  3. Helps to improve your balance
  4. Improves focus and coordination
  5. Strengthens muscles of the feet
  6. Emphasizes the correct position of the hips needed for splits
  7. Strengthens core and pelvic floor muscles
  8. Stimulates abdominal organs
  9. Improves postural habits
  10. Strengthens feet muscles

Modifications

Do not line feet up heel to heel like on a tightrope. Instead, have feet just slightly on either side of that tightrope.

Place as many blocks under either hand as you need to in order to feel comfortable.

You can even place a block under your back foot to help raise the floor higher up towards you.

If you are still experiencing issues with this pose, then begin with Low Lunge and work the positioning of the hips first before raising up to High Lunge.

Photo Breakdown

Lines of Energy

Grounding

  • Big toes ground to floor
  • Hands press into blocks
  • Ribs pull down
  • Tailbone lengthens
  • Front thigh bone descends into front hip socket

Lifting

  • Slight backbend in the upper thoracic spine
  • Back thigh bone draws in to back hip socket
  • Frontal hip points lift up towards ribs
  • Chest and sternum reach forward

And then breathe 🙂

How to do Pyramid Pose; Step-by-step

  1. Have your blocks handy near your mat, we will use them soon.
  2. Loop your strap to the length of your leg (from hip bone to heel)
  3. Step your back foot onto the strap, then step into the strap and loop the otherside over the top of your front thigh.
  4. Feet are lined up heel to heel like a tightrope.
  5. Adjust the feet so that your front toes point straight forward, and your back toes are angled at a 45 degree angle.
  6. Root all 3 points of your foot into the ground. The 3 points are: your big toe, your pinky toe, and your heel. Firmly press the back foot into the strap.
  7. Place your hands on your hips, and use your fingertips to pull the hips up towards your ribs.
  8. Try to feel as though your front foot is dragging back, and your back foot is pulling forward – both towards the midline of the body. This action will naturally square your hips to the correct position, and help you to draw front thigh bone back into hip socket, and draw back thigh bone forward and up into hip socket.
  9. Roll the back thigh inward to continue the squaring of the hips.
  10. Continue the lifting action of your lower core with fingertips on hips, guiding the pulling up action, and begin to fold forward over the front leg.
  11. Keeping a long, flat spine, lift up and over to fold forward as far as it feels comfortable for you. Stop at any point that you feel that your form would compromise if you went any further.
  12. Place a block under either hand to help support the pose. Stay here, and work on grounding all 3 points of feet into floor, the drawing in and up action of the thighs, the pulling up engagement of the core, and the lengthening along the spine.
  13. If you can keep going, then you can take forehead to knee. You can then take hands behind the back in an elbow-to-elbow grasp, or into the full expression of the pose with hands in prayer (Anjali Mudra).
  14. Now you are in Pyramid Pose.
  15. Hold for 5-10 breathes.

How to Advance Pyramid Pose

Intermediate

Continue to square the hips, and continue to descend the thigh bones into the hip sockets without the use of the strap.

Advanced

Work towards taking forehead to knee, remembering to continue pulling up the belly.

Take hands behind back into Reverse Prayer, (Anjali Mudra). When we bring hands together, it is a symbol of unity. It brings us a sense of order, harmony, and reminds us that all is good in the world, and there is no need to resist the here and the now.

Or clasp hands behind your back, and take hands overhead.

What will Pyramid Pose do for your SOUL?

Pyramid Pose will challenge your need to be attached to the end result. Instead, focus on your breath, and let it guide you through the movement. Do not worry if you are not at the fullest expression of this pose. All that matters is that you are on your mat, doing the pose to YOUR fullest expression, and breathing. Where you are right now is exactly where you are supposed to be. With each inhale, create space and length, and with each exhale, settle in to the present moment and connect to the wonderful sensations of your breath and this pose.

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