The Power of Three….
Triangles are Fun! Trikonasana, or Triangle Pose is one of my favorites. There is something so satisfying about reaching to stretch out that midsection and find a whole lot of space in every part of the body. Trikonasana is a standing pose that asks for balance, strength, and expansion. It is a wonderful pose for any level. What I love most about this asana is the many different ways it can be adapted without losing that expansive quality. And because I love to indulge my inner child, I like to find the three triangle shapes that are formed when we arrive in this pose. Every time. Seriously. Not kidding, this never gets old for me.
Here’s how it works…
1. After a gentle warm up, stand with the feet wider than hips distance and face the long edge of your mat. Legs are straight, but not locked.
2. Turn your right toes towards the top of your mat. Keep the outer blade of the left foot parallel to the bottom edge of your mat.
3. In this stance, draw your kneecaps up the legs to “power up” so to speak. We want the legs to be strong here. Apply that strength all the way into the feet and root into the ground.
4. Raise the arms to shoulder height, palms face down. Just pause for a moment and enjoy the glorious feeling of strength and expansion…drink it in.
5. Stretch the waist from the hips and begin to reach the right fingers as far as they can go towards the top of the mat. Keep the torso facing forwards. You will notice the torso start to lean in the same direction.
6. As you reach to the right, notice the left hip. Keep the left leg strong and the foot rooted into the mat. This will keep the hip from rolling forward and collapse the pose. Imagine you are pressing the back body, legs and all, into an imaginary wall behind you…or use a wall behind you to explore the sense of opening while supported.
7. Hinge at the hips to lower the right fingertips to the shin, or ground just outside the right ankle and extend the left fingertips towards the sky, palm forwards. You have just moved that nice, expansive line of the arms on its side.
8. Take a few deep breaths here and find comfortable place in the pose. Open the chest and stretch out both sides of the torso. Look up to the left fingertips, straight ahead, or down to the right toes depending on your neck’s mood today.
9. Give it a try on the other side and see what differences come up.
Make it work for you…
Trikonasana has a rainbow of benefits from strengthening legs, knees, ankles, arms, and chest, to opening the hips, groin, shoulders and chest. There is a lot happening in this pose, and feels that way when we try it out at first. The balance and openness comes with practice, and with practice all is coming.
Tight hamstrings? Props are our friends! Use a yoga block to bring the ground to your fingertips by placing it outside the edge of the front foot. Then lower the fingertips to the top of the block to give yourself a bit more space in the pose.
Tight shoulders or back? Simply bring the raised hand to the waist and give yourself a chance to enjoy the subtle twist before you feel the need to raise the arm.
Want more core action? Extend one or even both arms straight out over the head. Bring the arms parallel to the ears and listen to what the abdominals, obliques, and all those muscles in the back start to say. If the low back chimes in, lower the arms back to where they came from to avoid overtaxing the lumbar spine.
These are only a few variations of Trikonasana to try. Drop by a Yoga with Sarah class to explore what this pose has to offer, or contact me with any questions.
Behind the pose…
The Sanskrit term Trikonasana translates to tri konas, or three angles. The triangle is one of the strongest and most stable shapes in nature. To some tri, or three is a sacred number that can symbolize many things such as the trinity of earth, space, and heavens, or even that of birth, life, and death. Whatever intrigues you, whatever your perspective, consider the strength, stability, or symbolism of tri as you breath the pose and make it your own.