Conversation-triangle_1920x900-1

A conversation with triangle pose

I hate this pose.  I'll be honest.

For me it’s right there with childs pose and for a very long time downward dog. I’ve since become one with downward dog but triangle and I could still go either way. Only time will tell. It’s fancy sanskrit name is Trikonasana and the pose is about a play of opposites. Stay grounded or be aspirational. Stay contracted but maintain freedom. When you fully experience what Trikonasana has to offer you’ll sit happily in the middle, right in the sweet spot.

Grounded or aspirational
Create some fire in the legs by contracting the thighs, calves and pushing into the feet. As you exhale ground down into the mat. As you exhale contract the core muscles.  Generate some fire in the belly. From the waist down is grounded. The purpose of inhaling in Trikonasana is to lengthen the spine, to expand the chest and to broaden the back muscles. The inhale creates freedom from the waist up. The challenge is to find the sweet spot which is in the middle of remaining grounded while reaching high.

Benefits:

  • Releases the hips and entire length of the legs
  • Opens the sides of the body, creating space around the intercostal muscles
  • Lengthens the spine
  • Activates core muscles

Step-by-step:

  1. Begin in a wide lunge with the left foot forward. The back right foot is turned on a slight angle. Both legs are straight, be mindful not to lock the knees in. Lift the arms up to shoulder height and really extend out through the fingertips. Take a couple of deep, slow breaths here.
  2. Begin to contract the thigh muscles strongly and anchor the legs and feet into the mat.  As you exhale start to tilt from the pelvis, only going as far down as your legs will comfortably allow, maintaining spinal length. Rest your left hand on a block/chair if necessary.
  3. Make a conscious choice about where to position your neck and head. The neck is naturally flexible so it craves stabilisation. If the neck allows, the gaze can be up to the top right hand. If not take a more neutral focus point.
  4. As you inhale, elongate the spine from the tailbone to the head. As you exhale, anchor the legs and feet firmly down into the mat.

Hello sweet spot…
The weight feels even in both legs. The breath is steady and deep. The body feels spacious, in the hips, across the back and particularly across the chest. You’ve really ‘got it’ when an instruction to remain in the pose for 5 minutes doesn’t faze you. The sweet spot is sustainable.

Caution:
Those with bulging discs or herniations need to be careful, either avoid altogether or remain higher with bottom hand on block or chair to assist the spine to maintain integrity.

This pose is about a play of opposites. Stay grounded or be aspirational.