Welcome to yoga workshop Fridays! Don’t know what I am talking about, check out this post.
This series will be each Friday explaining how to do a particular pose leading up to a peak pose on the last Friday of the month. Throughout this series, I ask that you listen to your body to prevent injury and warm up for a pose when needed.
Disclaimer: Though I am a certified yoga instructor, please consult your doctor before you begin practice and note that everyone’s practice may look a bit different as you align the pose to your body.
Today we are working on triangle pose, also known as Utthita trikonasana (extended triangle) in sandskrit.
I have to admit, triangle and I have a love/hate relationship. My hamstrings tend to be tight which is why triangle is a great pose for me, but also quite difficult. As I continue to practice the pose though, I notice the pose feeling more comfortable. It is still challenging, but I have greatly improved from where I was a couple years ago. Progress may be slow, but slow and steady wins the race.
Triangle is a great pose for strengthen the core and back muscles. We could all use a little help with the core and back with all the sitting in front of computers these days, right?! Not only is triangle good for strengthening several muscles, but it also improves balance. Have you ever done SUP (stand up paddleboard) Yoga? If you haven’t, I can tell you I still can’t do triangle while balancing on a paddleboard. You really test your balance there. Anyway let’s break down how to do the pose, shall we?
How to do the pose:
Beginning in warrior 2, which we went over last week, inhale to straighten the front leg, making sure to keep a baby bend in the front knee, not locking out the knee. Send your hips back as you reach forward as far as you can, then slowly bring your front arm down, placing the hand to the floor if you can reach or just on the ankle (see below for prop options if you have difficulty reaching your ankle or the floor). Reach the back arm up towards the ceiling and open your chest to the side. Keep your gaze forward if you have any neck injuries, otherwise, bring your gaze towards your top hand. Take a couple breaths here.
To come out of triangle pose, keep your core tight and lift the arms back to a T, then bend into the front knee coming into warrior 2 and exhale to bring the hands down to the mat. Flow through a vinyasa and continue to the other side.
As I mentioned in the beginning, triangle and I have a love/hate relationship. It is important to listen to your body and only stretch as far as you feel comfortable, in order to avoid injury. This is where props come in handy. If you are having trouble reaching the ground or your ankle, place a block next to your front foot. Blocks have 3 heights, so you can start at the tallest if you need to and then work your way to the lowest.
In my photo, I am demonstrating the middle height. While I am able to do triangle without a block, you may have noticed my hand kind of floats by my ankle as I cannot reach the ground, so a block is a HUGE help if I have one. It helps me lift my chest and correct my form.
- Strengthens the muscles in thighs, hips and back
- Stretches the hamstrings, groins and hips
- Improves stability and balance
- Lengthens the spine
Share your pose on Instagram, tagging @bridgesthroughlife and hashtags #bridgesthroughlife #yogaworkshopFridays
I hope you enjoy this series. If you have any suggestions for what poses you would like me to break down, I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment or send me an email [email protected]