Pyramid Pose or “Paravottanasana” (Parsh voh tahn AHS anna) stretches the shoulder, increases flexibility in both legs consisting of the hamstring/calves as well as mobility in the spine. Also, this pose develops balance and stamina. Again, there are several variations with the arms and I would suggest use the one that is comfortable to open up your scapulae.
Starting in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), bring the hand up behind your back in reverse Namaste/prayer hands (or modified, arms over the head/hands to the hips).
On the inhale, step the left foot back about one leg’s length where the left heel is positioned firmly in the mat and toes are pointed forward or a slightly angled outward. Everybody is different, so choose what is natural to you. Are your hips squared to the front? Take a few breaths to feel the grounding (or release any tension) and center yourself.
Inhale, lengthen the spine, lift with the heart center and gently tug the shoulder blades down the back. Exhale and fold forward onto the right leg. Some will not be able to fold that far. If you find tension building or a tightness that is uncomfortable, please back off slightly until the fold is comfortable. This will take time to release and feel the stretch. Breathe smoothly and elongate the spine by tucking the chin to lengthen the back of the neck. As you keep breathing you will feel the stretch in your hamstrings. Again, check in to determine if your pelvis is squared, then continue to elongate the spine.
If you feel your back becomes rounded, press the sitting bones backward to engage in a dog tilt and see if there is space to lengthen the spine more. Again, breathe smoothly and keep your feet firmly rooted into the floor to achieve that maximum extension from the tailbone to the crown of the head. The key to this pose is not to tighten any muscles and feel the stretch. Inhale and slowly come out of the pose.
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