Enjoy Support and Stability with Pyramid Pose at the Wall
Article At A Glance
Pyramid Pose is a challenging yoga balance posture that requires strength and flexibility. Try these variations practiced at the wall for added steadiness in Parsvottanasana.
Practicing Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana) at the wall gives us support and stability so that we can take our time and go deeper into the form without focusing so much on balance.
When we go back to our mat away from the wall, our body is more prepared for the challenge and ready for what we are attempting to do. This pose asks us to summon strength, flexibility, and balance at the same time.
We can enjoy a little help from our friend—the wall! Practicing at the wall helps you deepen your appreciation for the subtleties of attaining equilibrium.
As you practice Parsvottanasana, remember these words: steadiness, stability, coherence, grounded, rooted, anchored, supported, and allowing.
Tips for Practicing Yoga at the Wall
- Keep breathing smoothly and steadily. If you find your breath becomes shaky or short, refocus your attention on your breath—again and again.
- When you feel stable in a pose, separate yourself from the wall and practice balancing on your own for part of the time.
- Become more aware of where your eyes are gazing. Your visual focus greatly affects your ability to balance. Avoid letting your eyes dart around.
- Practice on an even surface.
- Firm the muscles around your abdomen and navel center to enhance your ability to balance.
1. How to Practice Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana) At the Wall with Yoga Blocks
- Stand in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) with your back against the wall. Place one heel at about a 45-degree angle to the wall.
- Standing with your feet about hip-width apart, take a giant step forward with your other foot. The distance between your feet should be less than one leg’s length apart.
- Hinge forward at your hip crease (NOT at the waist) with your torso in the direction of the floor. If your hamstrings feel too tight to do this, bend your front leg as much as is needed for comfort so that your back does not round.
- Place your hands on yoga blocks beside your front foot for support if appropriate. You can stack several yoga blocks on top of each other to bring the base closer to your hands.
- Breathe deeply as your torso moves closer to your front leg.
- Elongate through your spine and reach the crown of your head forward.
- Gaze at your shin and toes, or close your eyes.
- On your inhalations, feel your body lift slightly. On your exhalations, surrender to gravity as your torso melts toward your front leg.
- For an extra challenge for balance and opening your chest area, reach behind your back and grasp opposite elbows.
- To exit the pose, place your hands on your hips, inhale, and return your torso to a vertical position. Or gradually roll your spine back up to a vertical position. Now, step your back foot forward as you return to Mountain Pose.
- Repeat the pose on your other leg.
2. Variation #2 of Pyramid Pose at the Wall
- With your feet about hip-width apart, stand facing your wall, about one arm’s length from it.
- Place your fingertips on the wall (if possible, at about the height of your shoulders to start).
- Walk your feet backward a foot or two as your torso and head incline toward the floor and possibly aligns with your arms.
- Next, take a giant step forward with one foot as you turn your back foot outward at about a 45-degree angle. If your hamstrings tighten, bend your front knee as much as desired.
- Press your hands into the wall as you draw your shoulders away from your ears.
- Gaze toward the floor.
- Squeeze your inner thighs together as you turn your frontal hip bones to face the wall.
- Continue to allow your hands to travel down or up the wall as you sink into the pose.
- Feel the sensations in your body as you continue awareness of your breath.
- To exit the pose, walk your hands up the wall and simultaneously bring your back foot forward to meet the front foot. Remove your hands from the wall and return to Mountain Pose.
- Repeat the pose on your other leg.
“Home Play” Experiments: How to Deepen Your Pyramid Pose
- Even if you have never actually seen a pyramid, visualize your best version of Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana). Your legs create a solid foundation. Your hips form the apex, the point. As your torso cascades over the smooth slope of the pyramid’s vertical incline, try to feel the perfection in the form.
- Attempt to stretch your yoga mat apart from your feet. Feel what you feel. Then, do the opposite; try to scrunch up the middle of your yoga mat with your feet. Notice the effect of these movements on your hip position, balance, and foundation.
- Allow your spine to undulate on your inhalations and exhalations.
- Bend your front knee, which relaxes the hamstrings and allows your back and torso to release into the pose.
- Play with straightening your legs as much as possible to fire up your quadriceps.
- Feel how your experience changes when you alter small aspects of your body’s alignment and activation.
Precautions for Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana)
*If you are pregnant or have a heavier upper body, take a wider stance when you step your foot forward to create space.