The Pyramid Pose is what is defined as an intense stretch for the entire body. This is a great pose to stretch and strengthen your legs, especially your hamstrings.
Standing in the Moutain Pose (Tadasana), take your arms behind your back and grasp a hold of your forearms. Then join your fingertips together for prayer pose, rotating your wrists until your fingers point to the ceiling as you move your arms up between your shoulder blades if possible. Press your fingers and your palms together by pushing your elbows in as this will help to push your shoulders back and expand your chest even further.
Then, step one leg forward so that your stance is fairly wide, yet comfortable. If you feel too wide or too close, adjust your stance. Front foot should be at a 90-degree angle and back foot somewhere between 75-80 degrees. Make sure your torso is facing towards the front and that your hips are square. Hold this position for a few cycles of breath to gain a sense of balance. Root your legs into the ground until you feel the stretch.
Inhale deeply while lifting the chest and tilting your head back until you are looking upward. Be careful not to put too much strain on your neck.
Begin to exhale while bending forward at the hips, leading with the chest and bringing the crown of your head toward the wall. Come down toward your front leg and tuck your chin in towards your chest. When you reach your limit, concentrate and hold the position, while you breath fluidly.
If your balance is compromised at any time, release your arms so that your fingertips gently touch the floor on both sides of the foot. If you cannot reach the floor, place them on your leg, but without depending on the leg for support. You will need to bring your awareness into the lower back for support.
Breathe into the backs of the legs where you feel the stretch. Lengthen your spine, and deepen the pose on your exhalation.
To come out of the pose, inhale and roll the torso up starting from the base of the spine. When you are upright again, allow the breath to guide your reflection before stepping your feet together.
Although you should always consult your physician and research a properly trained teacher before starting a yoga practice, there are a few instances where you should avoid this pose entirely:
If you have high blood pressure or cardiac conditions omit tilting your head and chest back to look up at the ceiling. If you have dysentery or abdominal hernia only practice this asana up to tilting your head and chest back to look up at the ceiling. Do not do the forward bend.
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