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Posted by on Jan 12, 2017

21-Day Back to the Mat Challenge: Day Thirteen. Pyramid Pose.

21-Day Back to the Mat Challenge: Day Thirteen. Pyramid Pose.

Welcome to Day Thirteen, Pyramid Pose, Parsvottanasana.

Parsvottanasana is a great standing posture that combines forward bending with balancing – and in its fullest form, back bending.

After performing yesterday’s practice, ending with Vira II on both sides, come to the front of your mat in Tadasana. Here’s a closer look at Pyramid:

  • Keeping your feet hip’s width apart, inhale and step your right foot back 3-4 feet
  • Turn your back foot out slightly to about 45 degrees
  • Engage your legs: lift up through your knee caps, rotate your back thigh inward, your front thigh outward
  • Keep your hips squared to the front of your mat
  • Lifting up through your abdominal muscles, lengthen your spine all the way up through the crown of your head
  • There are a few variations for your Arms in this pose:
    • Bring them down to the mat as you fold forward, rest them on the mat, your shins, or a block
    • Or keep your hands on your hips
    • Or clasp interlace your fingers behind your back, pointer fingers pointing away from you back
    • Or Clasp your elbows behind your back, keep the front of the chest broad (creating a slight back bend)
    • Or bring your hands into Reverse Prayer (palms pressing into one another behind your back, fingers pointing upward – this also create a slight back bend)
    • Whichever variation you choose, keep the front of your chest broad and open, keep your neck long, bring your energy up through the crown of your head, creating length before you fold forwards
  • Exhale fold forward over your front leg as far as is comfortable
  • Keep length in your torso as you breathe here
  • After a few breaths, inhale your torso back to upright
  • Exhale step back to the front of your mat
  • Second side

After Pyramid on both sides, step forward to Tadasana and lower yourself down to a seated position. Then lay back into Savasana.

Here is today’s complete practice:

  • Take a comfortable seat
  • Close your eyes, Bring your attention inward
  • Inhale, lengthen the spine, Exhale, keep that length
  • Notice deeply
  • Continue in this way for 10 or 20 breaths
  • Open your eyes and move to a kneeling position (sit back on your heels)
  • Perform Kapalabhati for 20-50 breaths, Repeat (as you like)
  • Come to Child’s pose, enjoy the effects of Kapalabhati
  • Come up to Table, then move with breath:  Table > Down Dog > Table > Child’s Pose…
    Repeat Five times (or as many or few times as you like)
  • Balancing Table (both sides)
  • Lower arm/leg back to Table
  • Exhale as you Push back to Downward Facing Dog
  • Inhale, Step forward to Standing Forward Fold
  • Exhale here
  • Inhale up to Tadasana, Mountain Pose
  • Sun Salutation (both sides)
  • Tadasana
  • Close your eyes, bring your hands together in Prayer Pose, Anjali Mudra, at the center of your chest
  • Breathe
  • Uttanasana, Standing Forward Fold
  • Sun Breaths
  • Step back to Downward Facing Dog
  • Lunge (right foot back)
  • Runner’s Stretch over left leg
  • Lunge (left foot back)
  • Runner’s Stretch right leg
  • Step back to Downward-Facing Dog
  • Lower down to Child’s Pose
  • Step to Tadasana at the front of your mat
  • Vira II (both sides)
  • Tadasana
  • Pyramid (both sides)
  • Step back to Tadasana
  • Lower down to a comfortable sitting position
  • Lie back into Savasana