Pose of the Week: Trikonasana

Trikonasana / Triangle Pose

Trikonasana / Triangle Pose

Trikonasana (trik-cone-AHS-anna)or Triangle Pose.

Standing in Tadasana/Mountain Pose (big toes to touch, heels slightly apart, arms by sides).  As you exhale bring feet 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides, shoulder blades wide, palms down.  Turn your right foot slightly to the left and the left foot out about 90 degrees.  Align the left heel so it is bisecting the arch of the right foot. Exhale and extend your torso to the left directly over the left leg, bending from the hip joint, not the waist.  Imagine you are between two walls and don’t want to touch either one. Anchor this movement by strengthening the right leg and pressing the outer heel firmly to the floor. Rotate the torso to the right, keeping the two sides equally long.  Rest your left hand on your shin, ankle, or the floor outside or inside your right foot, whatever is possible without distorting the sides of the torso. You may also rest your hand on a yoga block.  Stretch your right arm toward the ceiling, in line with the tops of your shoulders. Shift the gaze up towards the right thumb. You may choose to take the extended version and extend your top arm parallel with the top ear.

If you feel unsteady you can use a wall for support.  If there is any strain in the neck look down towards the front foot. 

Avoid this pose if you have low blood pressure, diarrhea, or a headache. If you have a heart condition, practice against a wall and keep top arm on hip.  Stay in this pose for five (5) to ten (10) breaths.  Inhale to come up, strongly pressing the back heel into the floor and reaching the top arm toward the ceiling. Reverse the feet and repeat on the second side for the same amount of breaths. 

Benefits include stretching and strengthening the thighs, knees, and ankles.  Stretches the hips, groins, hamstrings, and calves; shoulders, chest, and spine.  Helps relieve stress. Improves digestion. Can relieve the symptoms of menopause. Relieves backache, can be especially helpful through second trimester of pregnancy.