Triangle pose is a standing pose that is used in most hatha yoga classes. Triangle is considered an “externally rotated pose” in that the front hip is in external rotation (it turns out). Externally rotated poses are generally easier to do in class because most of us walk and sit in external rotation with one hip or another. This pose is accessible to almost everyone and, when done correctly, can be a wonderful low-back stretch. Triangle can steal the breath, be mindful of your breathing practice when in triangle.
- increases strength and flexibility of feet, legs, hips and back
- opens the chest
- lengthens and strengthens the spine
- relieves low back pain
- improves digestion
- improves functioning of female reproductive organs
- increases circulation to pelvic region
- calms the mind
- relieves anxiety
- relieves nervous tension
How to practice:
- Step your feet apart as wide as one of your legs (from hip to ankle)
- Turn both feet to your right. Your front foot will be straight. Your back foot should be turned in
- Align the heel of your front foot with the arch of your back foot.
- Inhale and open your arms wide apart.
- Look over your back hand.
- Exhale and extend your trunk to your right, placing your hand on the inside of your leg. Hand can be placed on the thigh, knee, shin or ankle. (Resist the urge to touch the floor. This will round your spine rather than lengthen it.)
- Press your hand into your leg and stretch your chest, extending into your raised hand.
- Look at horizon level or up at your top thumb if your neck has no strain.
- Press feet into the floor and feel your kneecaps and thighs lift. You can also micro bend the knee, or press big toe and small toe down while lifting three center toes. This activates and strengthens the legs, while protecting the front knee.
- Remain here for 30 seconds to 2 minutes and change sides.
Contraindications (who should not do this pose):
- This pose is safe for almost everyone.
- If you experience pain in the pose, come out and speak with a teacher who can help you.
- Use a block under the bottom hand.
- Turn the top hand toward your head and stretch the arm overhead to stretch the side of your body.
- Take the top arm and place the hand on your hips palm face down.
- Practice with feet by the wall with your back and hips on the wall.
- If this pose causes back strain, you can practice extended right angle instead by bending the front knee to 90 degrees.