Parsvottanasana – Pyramid Pose
Parsvottanasana or pyramid pose is so versatile, but is one of my favourite hamstring stretches. I feel like this pose is really great for all levels of practitioners. For someone who is a little tighter in the hamstrings, they have the option to bring their hands to some blocks. For more advanced practitioners, they can bring their hands into reverse prayer. I find that this pose is really versatile in that, I have used it many times in a “detoxifying” yoga flow class. By hugging behind your thigh with your arms, you can find compression while playing with a deep breath. I find that it’s almost like squeezing out a sponge, it really allows you to create space and move the prana through your body. The traditional shape of the pose has your back foot flat on the ground at a 45 degree angle, but I love that it’s an option to stay on the ball of your foot if you have trouble squaring your hips. I tend to just hang out in my joints rather than engage my muscles, but in this pose I find I can go deeper when I engage my quads, so I think it is great for reminding me to engage! I find it very hand to lift the arch of my back foot in this pose, so I really enjoy that challenge. All in all, there are so many reasons, both for the ease and the challenge, that I LOVE parsvottanasana!