Parsvottanasana (Pyramid) – Overview

Lesson Overview

  • Features: Parsvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch / Pyramid), and related poses such as Ardha Parsvottanasana (Half Pyramid)
  • Objective: Become knowledgeable about the pose and review detailed teaching considerations.
  • Description: Explain the Sanskrit naming; contraindications and cautions; associated benefits and typical effects; instructions and cues for setting up and practicing the pose; variations to meet particular intentions and needs; and more teaching considerations.



“parsva” = flank or side

“uttana” = intense stretch

Intense Side Stretch Posture

Also known as: Pyramid Pose

Heart of Pose

  • Asymmetrical Forward Bend


  • Challenging pose; requires concentration.
  • Balance is challenged due to narrowness of base, need for outer hip muscles to be both long and active, and inability to use eyes to help with balance. (Leslie Kaminoff)
  • See Cautions for low back, hamstrings and knees.

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