How to Do Funky Pyramid Poses 

As of June 21st, it is officially summer! This season radiates nurturing energy and promotes abundance in our lives. Fire, the associated element of summer, gives our practice an extra boost of energy to elevate our ability to practice yang-style poses.

Try the Funky Pyramid Pose this summer, a variation on Intense side stretch or Parsvottanasana.


The Funky Pyramid pose is a full-body workout because it requires all the muscles in the legs, arms, and trunk to coordinate and be active. The hamstrings of the front leg are actively stretched and lengthened while the spine passively increases.

This pose is asymmetrical, and the compression of the body towards the front leg helps to massage the internal organs, which in turn aids digestion. To align the posture with the function of the large intestine, it is best to do this first on the left and then on the right.

This pose is challenging and helps us stay humble on the mat. To get deeper in yoga, you need to practice and persist. Enjoy the process, and have fun!

Prepare Your Poses

It is important to begin any asana practice with some ballistic stretches, such as a few Surya Namaskar flows or Sun salutations. Warming up muscles stretches them to a comfortable length before practicing new poses.

For this practice, focusing on the wide-legged fold ( Prsarita Padottanasana II ) and the heel-tobutt stretch will prepare the body to perform forward folding and leg raising in the Funky Pyramid.

In this variation of Intense side stretch, it is important to stretch and open the shoulders and chest in order to avoid a collapsed body and drooping shoulders. Holding opposite wrists or elbows behind the back can help spread the chest and heart for people with tight shoulders.

Anjali Mudra is a reverse prayer that stretches the wrists of people who have more shoulder mobility. It also opens the chest and the heart. Anjali mudra should be done behind the back only when it feels comfortable and not painful to avoid injury to the wrists and shoulders.

The practice of the traditional Parsvottanasana strengthens the muscles and brings more comfort to the pose before experimenting with the Funky Pyramid variation.

Practicing Parsvottanasana

Hands behind the back, start in Wide-Legged Tadasana. Shift your front foot 90 degrees to the left and your back foot 75 to 80 degrees to the right. To keep the chest wide open in the summer variation of the exercise, lift the sternum gently to allow the heart’s blazing flame to propel the torso ahead while the hips are reaching back. This opening of the heart counters the natural forward rolling that occurs in modern society due to the constant use of computers and phones.

Move the trunk to the right while keeping the hips square (right hip back and left hip forward; lift the pelvic floor). If your hamstrings feel tight, you can bend your right knee in order to help the chest meet the thigh.

Slowly, by engaging your right thigh, straighten the leg to the right and raise the kneecap towards the hip. Avoid hyperextending your leg and pushing your knee forward in space. It is better to have a gentle bend in joints such as the knee.

Funky Pyramid – Practice it!

Before lifting your chest to the sky, practice all the steps of Parsvottanasana. This variation involves releasing the hands from the front leg to the ground. The hands should be walked towards the back foot, and the fingers should be turned backward.

Lift the heel of the rear leg to take the weight off the leg. This will allow you to put more weight on your hands.

You can stretch your body one last time by moving the hips to the ankle at the back and significantly bending the arms. Continue to squeeze the inner thighs and lift the pelvic floor throughout the practice.

Preparation with the hips above the rear ankle

Play around with the position of the back foot and lift it off the ground. As you learn this pose, the supporting leg will gravitate towards perpendicularity to the bottom. This means that the hips will want to shift over the standing foot rather than remain back.

Beginner-Friendly Funky Pyramid: The hips tend to gravitate perpendicular to the ground. Hips want to align themselves with the supporting leg.

Intense Side Stretch will allow you to return your hips to their original position. The back foot will also hug the butt.

Funky Pyramid, with hips reaching forward and front leg at 45 degrees

Summer’s fire element is often associated with laughter and joy. If you accidentally fall and land on your bottom, smile and laugh. All humans are just doing their best. This Funky Pyramid Pose is going to get easier one day. Please share any tips or ways you practice Parsvottanasana below!

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