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Triangle Pose (trikonasana)

Standing posture that stretches the sides of your torso, hips and legs.
 

Triangle Pose (trikonasana) - Yoga Posture
Triangle Pose (or trikonasana) provides an intense stretch along the sides of your torso, hips and legs. With regular practice of this pose, you can increase the strength and flexibility of your hips, legs, ankles and feet. This pose also elongates your spine and opens your chest, which can help improve your breathing.
 
It is important to be aware of the alignment of your body in Triangle Pose. Make sure your head, shoulders and hips are on the same plane. You must also keep your spine in a straight line from your head down to your tailbone. Practicing the pose with your back against a wall can help you find the proper alignment.
 
As you rest your weight on your back heel in this pose, you should feel stable and grounded through both of your feet. You should also feel comfortable in the pose, with your neck relaxed, your knees soft and your legs stretched, but not strained.
 
Use caution performing Triangle Pose if you have lower back problems.
 
Steps:
Begin in Mountain Pose.
Step your right foot to the right 3 to 5 feet.
Turn your left foot in 45 degrees and then turn your right foot out 90 degrees.
(Make sure your right heel is aligned with the middle of your left foot.)
Inhale as you raise your arms up to shoulder height, with your palms facing down. Your arms and shoulders should be relaxed.
Shift your hips to the left and extend your upper body to the right.
Exhale as you place the palm of your right hand on the floor outside your right foot.
(If you cannot reach the floor, you can place your palm on your lower leg.)
Stretch your left arm up toward the ceiling, with your palm facing forward.
(Make sure you keep your left shoulder back.)
Turn your head to look up at your left hand, keeping your spine straight and your neck relaxed.
Hold the pose for 10 to 30 seconds.
To come out of the pose, press the soles of your feet into the floor and then inhale as you lift your right palm off the floor. Then return to Mountain Pose.
Repeat steps 2 to 10 for your other side.
 
What should I do if my palm cannot reach the floor?
If your palm cannot reach the floor in this pose, you can place your palm on the ankle, shin or knee of your front leg. You can also position a block on the outside of your front foot and place your palm on the block. Trying to force your palm to the floor may cause your body to become improperly aligned. Achieving correct body alignment is more important than trying to reach down as far as possible.
 
I have a stiff neck and cannot look up in Triangle Pose. Can I still perform the pose?
You can still perform Triangle Pose, but you should look down at the floor instead of looking up at your raised hand. With a stiff neck, you may also have problems finding a comfortable position for your raised arm. To reduce the strain on your neck, rest the hand of your raised arm on your hip instead of stretching it toward the ceiling.
 
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