Sanskrit Name: Trikonasana
The Yoga pose of the month is triangle Pose which is a standing pose often incorporated into classes of all levels. The sanskrit name Trikonasana comes from the root of the words ‘tri‘ meaning three and ‘kona‘ meaning angles. It is a strong and active pose, but can be used to restore the natural balance of both body and mind.
- This yoga pose stretches deeply through the ankle, hip and knee joints. It can often be felt strongly in your groin muscles and shoulders too.
- Opens the chest and stretches the muscles through the front of your body. Consequently, it can be great for achieving improved posture in daily life.
- Relieves lower back discomfort and is great for the spine. This yoga pose is very effective in treating sciatica as it creates space in the sacrum area.
- Great for internal organ stimulation and thus can relieve constipation or indigestion. It is also perfect for anxiety and stress reduction.
- Strengthens legs and core muscles whilst increasing stability through spine and hips.
As with the majority of yoga poses, you can adjust the pose to suit your level of experience and fitness. I also often modify the poses depending on how the student is feeling that particular day. Sometimes, you need a strong and awakening practice whilst other days, a more nourishing approach reaps more reward. For simplicity, I have listed 3 variations from easy (level 1) to hard (level 3).
1) Beginner: Make sure the distance between your feet is 1.5/2 x the width of your own shoulders and the heel of your front foot in is line with the middle of the arch on your back foot. Soften the front knee if you need to and lower the left arm (if your left foot is forward) to just below the knee joint. Place your other hand on your right hip and try to open up your chest so it is facing the side wall. Keep your gaze on the front big toe if you feel a bit wobbly! Take 3 long breaths and then repeat on the other side.
2) Intermediate: Make sure the distance of your feet is roughly double the width of your shoulders. Line up your heels so that they are in line with one another and straighten both legs as much as is comfortable. Place your left hand (if your left foot is forward) just below the knee joint and rotate the torso so that your chest is facing the side wall. Slide your hand down your shin as much as you feel you can whilst maintaining straight legs. Extend the right arm so that your hand is reaching up towards the ceiling and look towards your right thumb if you feel balanced enough. Take 5 long breaths and repeat on the other side.
3) Advanced: Bring weight into the outside edges of both of your feet and imagine you are trying to rotate each leg away from the center of the mat. Place your hand on your ankle or the mat to the left or right of your front foot. Try to maintain torso rotation and chest expansion! Extend your right arm up towards the ceiling and then wrap it round your lower back to reach for your left thigh. Hold onto the left thigh if it is available and gently press the hand into the leg to help lever the rotation and twist deeper into the pose. Close your eyes for an extra challenge! Hold for as long as you need, keeping abdominal muscles engaged throughout 🙂
This is a delicious yoga pose to do at the end of a long day or exercise session. You can mix it in with some core work. If you are new to self practice then you can just write down any five yoga poses and do them in a sequence on one side before repeating on the other, enjoying 3 -5 breaths in each pose. Don’t forget to finish each practice with a well deserved Savasana or corpse pose…just lie on your back like a starfish and embrace the relaxation! Often, I will take 5 -10 minutes seated meditation at the end of a practice, it feels great!