Technique Tuesday - Triangle Variations Pt. 2Apr 19, 2022
Hello and welcome to a new Techniques Tuesday, where we'll be exploring Trikonasana, or Triangle Pose. Today is a second stage, where we go a little deeper.
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.
As I explained last week, this is one of my favourite poses. I love the feeling of opening hips, heart, balancing, the challenge and the surrender. But I know that not everyone loves it as much as I do, or can't go as far as perhaps I can, which is why I really wanted to explore this a little more with you.
Today we start as we did last week, in Warrior 2 (Maha Virabhadrasana). 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. As explained last week, your front heel doesn't have to match up with your back arch.
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 - sometimes teachers use the phrase "between two panes of glass". whatever visual works for you.
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 shin. 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. If you feel stable, you can lift those top fingers to the sky, making sure your arm doesn't reach back behind you.
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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