Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana) is a strong stretch to release the hamstrings and calves and strengthen the quadriceps. For the more experienced student who can bend forward with ease, the pose offers a nice compression on the organs of the lower abdomen. This pose is not recommended during the menstrual cycle, when your balance is shaky, or you have head congestion.
To get started:
1. From Downward Facing Dog bring the right foot forward next to the right hand.
2. Straighten the right leg. The feet should be about three feet apart. The left foot is facing forward with the sole flat on the floor, keeping the legs strong.
3. Bring your head, shoulders, and upper body to an upright position and square your hips towards the front of the mat.
4. Lengthen the spine with an inhale and stay for a moment bringing your hands behind you with the finger tips pointing up in prayer position behind the back. Note this variation is great for stretching the wrists and increasing shoulder mobility.
5. Exhale, and deepen the right hip crease going into a forward bend. Feel the hamstring stretch more in the front hamstring. Stay for five deep breaths.
Come up, and stretch the trunk up and repeat on the left side.
Benefits: Stretches the hamstrings and calves and strengthens the legs.