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HEALTH Yoga pose of the week: The Pyramid

A pyramid with benefits

Lee Kennedy

Parsvottanasana, sometimes known as pyramid pose, is an intense side stretch. Although an action-packed asana with many different positions for the arms, it is also calming. By extending the trunk forward, the spinal muscles are given a forward stretch. The arm and shoulder action can help to relieve arthritis of the neck, shoulders, elbows and wrists and improve the overall structure of the body.
Seek advice from your yoga teacher if you suffer from high blood pressure or heart-related issues.

Pyramid pose

  • Position your yoga mat length ways and stand in the centre of it.
  • Inhale step walk or jump the feet about 3 to 3 5” wide, keeping your knees, trunk and chest lifted and your thighs back.
  • Place the hands on the waist, and turn the right leg, thigh and foot 90 degrees to the right.
  • Turn the left foot further in, and turn the shoulders, trunk and pelvis to face the right
  • Keeping the legs straight and steady (if the hamstrings are stiff, bend the front knee slightly), inhale and raise the spine, abdomen, chest and sternum and head.
  • Look up and back.
  • Inhale bring the head back to centre.
  • Exhale, stretch the entire trunk forward to be parallel to the floor.
  • Release the hands and place the fingertips on either side of the right foot. (If your arms are short or hands are unable to reach the floor, use two yoga bricks with the palm flat.)
  • Both legs should be straight and the pelvis parallel to the floor.

Position 1
  • Raise the head, concave the back and look up.
  • Hold for three to five breaths, then inhale and slowly come up.
  • Repeat on the left side.

Position 2
  • Exhale and take the trunk down so the abdomen comes towards the right thigh.
  • Now take the head to the shin bone.
  • Inhale, lift the head and trunk and come to the upright position with hands on the waist.
  • Prepare to do the same on the other side.

Lee Kennedy qualified with The BKS Iyengar Yoga Association UK, the YTTC and Ana Forrest of Forrest Yoga. She specialises in pregnancy-related yoga and also studied with Janet Balaskas, founder of the Active Birth Foundation, UK. Visit or call 0863906343 for more information.