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Intense Side Stretch Pose / Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana)

The Intense Side Stretch Pose is known as the Parsvottanasana in Sanskrit. It is considered to be a very challenging and complex pose which requires balance, concentration and clarity of mind.

This pose is very effective for those with a flat feet as it cures the same.

Other Names: Pyramid Pose, Intense Flank Stretch Pose

Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana)


Health Benefits

The Intense Side Stretch Pose stretches the hamstrings, spine, shoulders, wrists and hips. It lengthens the spine and relaxes the shoulders and neck. It stimulates the digestive organs thereby improving digestion. This pose strengthens the legs and knees as well.

Parsvottanasana improves sense of balance and calms the mind. This pose improves posture of the body and tones the abdomen.

Getting into Pose

What you need: Room with fresh air (if you’re doing it inside, otherwise do it in open area), and you.

Difficulty Level: Advanced

Initial Position: Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Drishti or Gaze: Forward


  1. Begin in Mountain Pose keeping your feet close together.
  2. Exhale on a count of 2 and spread your feet about 3.5 to 4 feet apart. Keeping your hands on your hips, turn your left foot to the right by approx. 45 degrees and your right foot also to the right by 90 degrees. Align the left and right heel with each other. Firm your thighs and turn your right thigh outwards.
  3. Exhale on a count of 3 and turn your torso to the right. Stretch back and pull back the head and shoulders.
  4. Take three deep breaths. Exhale on a count of 3 and bend from your groins trying to touch your head to the right knee. Rest your torso on your thigh. Lengthen your hands and try to rest the palms on the floor. Keeping the knees stiff and legs straight, try to bend and stretch as much as comfortably possible.
  5. Stay in this pose for at least 30 secs and increase gradually depending upon your practice. Exhale and release the pose. Repeat with the other side.

Relax in Corpse pose or Savasana.

Other Variations

  • Half Pyramid Pose (Ardha Parsvottanasana) – Easier version:  Take the support of a wall as your perform this variation. Begin performing steps 1 to 3. As you perform the next step, bend down and lower your torso until it is parallel to the floor. Extend your arms forward and press your palms against the wall and let your fingers point towards the sky. Extend your arms completely and lengthen the front of your torso. This variation is makes the Intense Side Stretch Pose easily attainable for pregnant ladies, high B.P. patients and those with a back injury.

Preparatory Poses

Beginner’s Tips

Instead of resting the palms on the floor, beginners can cross their arms at the back, keeping them parallel to the waist. Clasp each elbow with the opposite hand. Also, if the left leg is in front, bring the left arm at the back first.

Advanced Poses

Important Notes

Do not perform this pose if you have a back, hamstring, shoulder or wrist injury or are suffering from high B.P. Also avoid doing this pose in case of lower back pain.

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