This past month I broke down Triangle Pose (Trikonasana) in my class and have been exploring the pose in my home practice.  This pose is taught several different ways and I believe it’s important to experiment to feel into where your body is most supported and safely challenged.

In Ayurveda (a sister science to yoga), Triangle reduces Kapha, Vata, and Pitta types and therefore can be balancing. I often practice it more in the winter months as a way to energize the spine and build heat in the body. As always, use your limbs to support the spine, if you feel crunched hunched or condensed in the spine come out and reinvigorate the legs and arms to support the centerline of the body.

Traditional Directions and Explorations:

  • Begin with your feet in Warrior 2 stance (about 3 feet apart, with the right foot and leg pointing forward and your back leg perpendicular).
  • Bring your hands to your hips and feel how they can move from side-to-side in this stance. Engage your legs by isometrically engaging the inner thighs, imagine squeezing your heels towards each other.
  •  Lengthen your low back.
  • Bring your arms out to your sides, then reach as far out over your front (right) leg and tip your arms so your left arm reaches toward the sky. If you’re new to yoga, start with the legs and later add the arms.
  • Your bottom (right) hand might rest on a block, shin, the floor, or float for a more engaged and active pose.
  • Feel the expansion across your back and arms, and the strength of the legs into the floor. Breath in the post for 3-5 breaths.
  • Slowly bring your torso back up, if your knees hyperextend or your new to this pose bending the knees as you come up can be easier on the joints.

Variation: I offer this variation because in my body it stabilizes the low back and my SI joints and encourages a deeper (honest) twist.

  • Place a block on the outside of your front (right) ankle bone to start.
  •  Begin in your warrior 2 stance as above.
  •  Place your hand on your hips and shift them front and back. Once they are back (towards the left), bring the right hip bone up moving towards squaring the hips to the floor. They won’t actually face the floor.
  •  Check that your knees are in alignment over your toes and you don’t feel any rotation in the knee joints.
  •  Place your right hand down on the block, press down to lengthen the spine.
  •  Rotate from your center upwards, while keeping your hips towards the ground.
  •  Optional: Extend your left arm up, if you’re new to yoga work just the legs for several weeks.
  •  Breath and extend into the shape and the feelings of rotation, stability, and groundedness.
  •  Stay for 3-5 breaths.
  •  Slowly bring your torso back up, if your knees hyperextend or your new to this pose bending the knees as you come up can be easier on the joints.

Cautions & Variations:
If you’ve had hip replacement surgery, practice this pose on the floor with your feet against the wall.

If your knees can hyper extend, keep a slight bend in the front knee and keep engaging the quadriceps (thigh) muscles.

You can also practice this 2-4 inches away from a wall, with your back against it for tactical direction and balance support.