Triangle pose is poetic and graceful for its long lines and finesse. The balance component of this yoga pose is relatively low, and for the most part little strength is needed, yet you feel this delicious stretch instantly, from the inner groin into the hamstring. The stretch continues up your hip through your waist and into your chest and all the way to your fingertips. Trikonasana isn’t just a great way to stretch your body, but it also strengthens your legs and core just as much as stretches them. Invigorating is a great way to describe this pose.
The benefits of trikonasana (triangle pose) include:
- Strengthens your quadriceps (front of your legs) and muscles in your ankles and feet.
- Stretches your hips, groins, hamstrings and muscles throughout your waist.
- Opens your chest and shoulders
- Strengthens your back, neck and core
- Helps relieve lower back pain.
Trainer tip: I see a lot of students reach for their big toe or ankle as the goal of this pose. The intention of this pose is to stay long through the waist and legs. The hand will fall where it falls, don’t judge. While catching your big toe can seem impressive, it doesn’t have the same satisfaction as the long lines in your body. Instead, focus on keeping your core strong and the integrity of your spine straight.
Doing the triangle pose — alignment matters …
- Step your feet 4 feet apart and line up your heels in the same plane. If you have a wall, use it; it’s a great tool.
- In yoga, the right side goes first MOST of the time. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and turn your feet foot in about 45 degrees so both feet are aiming in the same general direction.
- INHALE – Standing tall with your shoulders over your hips, reach your arms out wide so the wrist are almost over the feet and make your waist as long as possible. Engage your core by drawing your lower belly up and in and slightly pull your lower ribs in as well.
- EXHALE – dip & tip. Dip your right hip and reach your right arm over your right leg. Then tip your upper body so your right arm lands on your shin, ankle, or your big toe. The left arm will be up toward the sky, making a T shape with your body. Bring your gaze, your drishti, up toward your left hand.
- While in this pose..
- Keep your right quadricep engaged. The right knee cap is drawn up.
- Watch your lower back — lengthen your tailbone toward the floor and draw your lower ribs in.
- Open your chest by engaging the muscles between your shoulder blades.
- Look down at your right leg and make sure you are square over your right leg. The tendency is to be in front so if that’s the case, lean back over right right leg.
- When you have been in this pose for 30 seconds, take a breath in and come up. Take your time to switch to the next side.
Where’s the triangle? The right leg, the right side of your waist and your right arm. Three straight lines … three STRONG, straight lines making beautiful angles.
Read more about triangle pose and it’s benefits: