Technique Tuesday - Triangle Variations Pt. 3May 03, 2022
Hello and welcome to a new Techniques Tuesday, where we'll be exploring Trikonasana, or Triangle Pose. Today is a modified chair version, that is usually accessible for many people.
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.
This can be an excellent pose to open the heart, feel the expansion of the body, but many feel it is inaccessible if they are unable to stand or balance. Thus, we have the chair version for you!
Today we start in seated 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. The seat bottom should support your bottom and the front leg. You may need to scoot your bottom so that your back leg sits more comfortably off the chair seat a bit.
Heel-toe your front foot a bit towards the front of the chair to lengthen the leg a bit - you won't straighten it completely, but lengthen a bit. Engage that front thigh to keep your knee supported and push that front foot into the ground.
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 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 sitting more or less 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 or to rest on your head, 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 works for you. 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 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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