Trikonasana – Triangle Pose
Trikonasana has various benefits to build both strength + flexibility. The name comes from the shape our body takes, mimicking a triangle. When we practice this asana we can improve our posture by creating length in our spine and opening our chest, which also allows us to expand our lungs more fully to encourage deeper breathing.
Follow these steps to get into Trikonasana:
- Stand facing the long edge of your mat with your feet 3 ½-4 ft. apart. Turn your right foot out to the right 90 degrees and your left foot in so it’s fairly parallel to the short edge of your mat, aligning right heel with left arch. Check that the center of your right knee cap is in line with the center of your right ankle; you might create a micro bend in your knees if you have a tendency to lock your joints.
- Extend your arms out to your sides, parallel with the floor, shoulders away from your ears.
- Inhale as you reach your right fingertips to the right to extend your torso and maintaining length through your right side body; as you exhale, bend at your right hip and lower your right hand to lightly rest somewhere on your leg(avoiding your knee), a block or the floor (wherever you can reach while still lengthening both sides of your body).
- Open both palms to face the wall in front of you which helps to open your chest as well as to externally rotate your shoulders.
- Your gaze can be forward for more of a neutral position in your cervical spine; or if it’s comfortable in your neck, you can rotate your head slightly to gaze up; for more support in your neck and to create more stability you can always choose to gaze down. Whichever position you choose, encourage length in your neck.
- Stay here for about 5 breaths before mindfully rising up to switch sides.
*If using a block, you can either place it inside or outside your front foot; just be sure that your wrist lines up under your shoulder.
Benefits of Trikonasana:
- Stretches and strengthens thighs, knees and ankles
- Stretches hips, groins, hamstrings, calves and spine
- Opens chest and shoulders
- Strengthens abdominals
- Stimulates abdominal organs, aiding in digestion
Cautions associated with Trikonasana:
- Low blood pressure
- High blood pressure or heart condition(gaze down + place top hand on hip instead of extending it toward sky)
- Neck challenges(gaze straight ahead + keep both sides of neck evenly long)