Pyramid Pose is a Standing Forward Fold variation where one leg is forward and one leg is back.
Pyramid- step by step
From Mountain Pose, step the feet apart - perhaps a metre, or less, to suit your body.
Turn to the right, so your right leg is forward and your left leg is back. Square the hips to the front. Adjust the width of your stance as much as you need to, to keep your back heel on the ground.
You can choose either to rest your hands on your hips, rolling the shoulders back. Or to clasp the forearms behind your back. Or to press the palms of the hands together behind your back with the fingers pointing up, in Reverse Prayer Position. Keep your shoulders rolling open.
On an inbreath, ease your way into a gentle backbend. Lift the heart. Cast the gaze up a little. See if you can wake up gentle sensation in the belly, chest, throat, jaw, face.
On your next outbreath, hinge at the hips (hip flexion), moving into a flat back position with the back about parallel to the ground. Keep enough space in the neck as you need to feel comfortable as you cast the gaze forward and lengthen the spine.
Take a few breaths to settle and balance here. Play your edge mindfully, maybe moving a little deeper into the hip flexion, on each exhale.
When you feel you have gone as far as is comfortable with your hip flexion, move into flexion of the spine, rounding the back like a tortoise shell, so far as it will, letting gravity have you, casting the gaze down to the ground.
Relax the neck and soften your belly as you breathe deeply into the back.
Feel the balance of weight distribution in your feet. Ground firmly through the back heel.
Take a few breaths to settle and balance here.
To come out of this position, come up half way, press down firmly through both feet, lengthen the spine. Soften the front knee and lift the body up slowly, with control.
Step back into Mountain, before repeat on the other side.
Why practice pyramid pose?
Wakes up sensation through the whole back body, kicking off your reflective learning cycle: Move > ignite sensation > feel > enquire > respond in a way that is helpful.
Taking the arms back behind you opens the chest, encouraging deeper breath and greater oxygenation of the blood. And also relieves neck, shoulder and wrist stiffness.
Hip flexion provides a deep stretch for the leg muscles, helping you cultivate freedom of movement.
Spine flexion releases the neck and spine and may help to relieve back pain.
If your hamstrings in the back of the thigh are a little tight, you can choose to bend the front knee a little. If you choose this option be mindful to keep the kneecap pointing in the same direction as your centre toes... don't let the knee drop in.
Glaucoma ~ in general, yoga practitioners with glaucoma should not place the head below the heart.
Shoulder injuries ~ Keep your hands on your hips, rather than taking them behind the back.
Only go as far as you need to to feel comfortably challenged. Never force or strain.
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