Technique Tuesday - Triangle Variations Pt. 1Apr 12, 2022
Hello and welcome to a new Techniques Tuesday, where we'll be exploring Trikonasana, or Triangle Pose. Today is a beginner modified version in a standing pose, but in future variations, we will explore also a seated chair version, so stay tuned over the following weeks for information on that as well!
As always, listen to your body, rest and modify as needed, and stop if you feel ANY pain. While this is a pose often used in yoga classes, it can be very challenging, especially if you have hip or hamstring issues, balance issues, or back issues.
Just because a pose looks "easy", or is used often, doesn't mean it is easy, or even accessible for every body! So please, be kind, go slowly, experiment, have fun, and don't judge!
To modify, you may want a chair or wall to hold on to for support, and a block. we won't be demonstrating that in this video, but if you need to use your front hand to hold on to a sturdy chair, or if you want to lean (slightly) back against a wall, you are welcome to do so to be more stable and comfortable.
I will be honest, when I first started yoga, this is one of the poses that brought me deeper into my practice. Even though initially I wasn't able to go very deep into this pose (believe it or not, I was not very flexible when I first started yoga, having been away from gymnastics, and heavy into HIIT and lifting weights without stretching for years), when I first tried this pose, BAM. I don't know what it was specifically, but everything just seemed to *click* for me and suddenly I was doing yoga every single day, and trying this pose on my own whenever I could... it just felt sooooo good in my body! I know not everyone shares my love for Trikonasana/Triangle, but maybe these variations will help you get into the pose more comfortably, so that if you maybe don't *love* this pose, maybe you'll *like* it, or appreciate it a little more :)
So, let's start in a standing Warrior 2/Maha Virabadrasana pose (if you don't know what this is, we will explore this in a future series, don't worry!). In Warrior 2, we want to have the legs 3-4 feet apart (depending on what is comfortable for you), front toes pointing to the narrow edge of your mat, back foot pointing to the long edge, or on a slight angle forward.
Here's where I'm about to court controversy - you don't have to line up your front heel with the arch of your back foot. Particularly if you have balance issues, or if you have a wider set pelvis, you may find that aligning in this manner makes it hard, or even downright impossible, to balance well in this posture. If this is the case for you, or if it feels uncomfortable, feel free to move that back foot *slightly* towards the outer side of your mat to widen your base of support.
Bend your front knee, keeping it in line with your ankle, and rotating your pelvis and torso so that your front knee and foot points to the narrow edge of your mat, and your hips, pelvis and torso face the long edge of your mat, as demonstrated in the video.
Inhaling and lifting your heart, lightly engage your abdominal muscles and straighten your front knee until it is almost straight - you don't want to "lock" it - and leave a tiny micro bend in that front knee. Engage that front thigh to keep your knee supported.
Bring your arms out from your sides, keep your back hand on your waist to keep your hips, pelvis and torso facing the long edge of the mat and use the front hand to reach out over the front leg, as though you're squeezing sideways between the back of a couch and a wall to pick up a remote control - we've all been there, lol.
As you exhale, keep reaching forwards until you get to your comfortable limit and can't reach any further, then bring your front hand to the top or middle of your front thigh. Notice the gentle opening along the back of your front thigh, the front of your back hip, the openness of your ribcage. Lengthen evenly through both sides of your torso. Feel how your hips are gently grounding towards the earth, even though you're standing upright. Use that back hand to gently guide the thigh, hip, abdomen and chest open to the long edge of the mat, see how you can unfold in this position and grow legs and torso even when still. See how long your spine gets.
Relax your shoulders away from your ears and find a comfortable place to look - some look straight ahead, some look up, some look down, whatever floats your boat. Keep breathing into the hamstring, hips, groin, heart. See how your mind feels in this pose, if perhaps anxiety begins to dissipate.
Take a few breaths here, then exhale to engage your abdominals, use your back hand to help pull you back upright to your Warrior 2 position and try the other side.
When you have done both sides, come back to a comfortable standing/seated position and notice how you feel. Maybe a bit taller? Maybe a bit more grounded?
I hope this helps you feel a little more open in the hips and legs and heart.
Let me know how you feel!
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