Triangle Pose or Trikonasana strengthens our physical and emotional bodies. It allows us to bring expansion to the muscles that need it most, and by extension, creates space in these places for emotional release and healing.
Before we get to the benefits of Trikonasana or Triangle pose. Here's a quick 101 on getting into the pose:
- From Warrior II, straighten the front leg (we’ll say the right in this case).
- Shift the torso to the right reaching the right hand as far away from you as possible.
- Hinging from the hips, tip the torso over the right leg, placing the right hand on the floor inside the right foot if possible. Alternatively, place the hand on the shin or ankle.
Tip: Because this pose can be challenging at first, I recommend using a block for the supporting hand to ensure that you reap all of the holistic benefits. You can place the block inside or outside the right foot.
The idea is for the back to be completely straight, and the whole upper body in one plane. I’ve heard teachers describe the body as a piece of toast sliding into a toaster. A wonderful way to ensure this alignment is to practice against a wall.
Reversing the Damage of the Workday
Most of us will deal with back pain at some point in our lives. Causes of back pain are varied from chronic nerve pain, to menstrual cramps, to stiffness from sitting all day.
While those with more medically rooted problems will need specialized care, many of us can find great relief from our back pain with a yoga practice. The pain we feel in our lower backs is often triggered by stress and an abundance of cortisol being continually released as we navigate our overstimulated lives.
Yoga is an incredible way to relieve this stress. Triangle pose is an ideal way to pinpoint the stress we carry in our lower backs. The pose requires us to maintain proper alignment in the back, which helps to correct any curving or hunching we do during the work day.
It also opens the shoulder and extends the neck — two places where tension lives. Moreover, Triangle requires focused concentration and attention to the breath to keep the ego from making us feel inadequate or unsteady. This breath, and total presence in the moment is the single most powerful tool in relieving stress.
Many of us live in a state of high alert, with little time for relaxation or release. This state is akin to the “fight or flight response” where adrenaline pumps though our body.
Because there are so many stress triggers, many of us exist in this high frequency state more often than not. This response is localized in the hip region of the body and as time goes on, all of the stress, frustration, anxiety, and unprocessed emotions build up in the hips.
If you’ve ever experienced a strong emotional response after a hip-opening yoga sequence, this is why. Most of us don’t take time to check in with our emotional body on a daily basis, and even fewer of us take the time to work through those emotions.
We’re not doing ourselves any favors by letting these feelings build up. Healthy release and understanding of our emotions is key to living a balanced life, and practicing Triangle pose is a tremendously powerful way to open the hips physically and energetically.
Triangle pose provides an ideal combination of opening, elongating, stretching, and challenging the body. By doing so, it targets the areas that take the brunt of daily stress and allows them to find solace and release.
Try incorporating Triangle into your regular yoga practice and you'll discover its wonderful way of bringing yourself into alignment — physically, mentally, and emotionally.