Revolved Triangle Pose: Parivrtta Trikonasana
Expands your chest and shoulders.
Increases neck mobility.
Stretches your spinal muscles and increases spinal range of motion.
Strengthens and tones muscles of your tighs.
Stretches your calf muscles, hamstrings, and hip musculature.
Can relieve upper back tension.
Increases proprioception (or the sense of position in space) of your feet and ankles.
Traditionally thought to stimulate abdominal organs.
Neck Pain - Keep your head in line with the spine, do not look over your shoulder.
Low Back Pain / Sacroiliac Joint Pain - Ensure your hip points are facing forward with your feet hip width apart, turn the back foot forward significantly to limit force across the Sacroiliac joint and allow the twist to move from the thoracic spine / upper back.
History of lumbar or low back disc herniation or bulge.
- Low Blood Pressure - Do not fold below horizontal to keep the head level with the heart.
Parivrtta Trikonasana (par-ee-vrit-tah trik-cone-AHS-anna)
utthita = revolved
trikona = three angle
- Stand at the top of your mat in Mountain Pose / Tadasana.
- Take a big step back (approximately three feet) with your right foot, turn your foot out approximately 25 degrees or less to the side of the mat while keeping your left toes pointing forward.
- Your two hip points are now facing the side of the mat.
- Note - Foot alignment with increasing difficulty. 1 - Feet hip width apart. 2 - Heel to heel alignment. 3 - Heel to arch alignment.
- Bring your left hand to your waist and as you inhale raise your right arm overhead, lengthening your spine at the same time.
- Root the outside of your back foot, draw in your lower belly to support your low back and exhale as you hinge forward at the waist, keeping your spine long and reaching out with your right arm.
- Depending on your range of motion, allow your right hand to float towards your (from beginner to advanced) shin, a block or the floor on the inside of the foot, a block or the floor on the outside of the foot, or your fingers looping your big toe.
- Inhale and continue to lengthen out through the crown of your head, keeping the spine long.
- Root the outside of your back foot once again and keep your hips level, imagining you could balance an object on your sacrum (the flat bony part at the base of your spine).
- Exhale and rotate to the left, extending your left arm up towards the sky and turning to gaze at your left palm.
- Breathe comfortably.
- To exit the pose, on an exhale look down towards your left foot, draw your low belly in, root down through the feet, and inhale as you rise up, lowering your hands to your waist. Step back to the top of the mat and repeat on the opposite side.
- Shoulder Injury / Tightness - Keep the revolved side hand at the waist rather than extending it up towards the sky. This often enables those of us with shoulder or chest tightness to get greater spinal rotation.
- Calf Injury / Tightness - If you are unable to keep your back heel on the earth you can fold or roll up your mat under your back heel so that you can practice rooting the foot. With time gradually decrease the amount of height under your heel.
- Use caution with more advanced foot placement such as heel to heel alignment or heel to arch alignment. These foot positions place your hips and lower spine in rotation to the right first, before you attempt to rotate to the left, thus increasing the tension and torque across the lower spine, putting you at risk of injury.
- Although we may think of this as a spinal twist for our lower back, in reality our lumbar spine has very little rotation, and the majority of the twist comes from the upper back or thoracic spine. Think of leading the twist from your heart centre to increase the rotation, while keeping your lower ribs drawing in to gently engage the core.
Yoga Pose Article written by Dr. Robin Armstrong:
Dr. Robin Armstrong is a Vancouver chiropractor and yoga instructor. Robin blends her western knowledge gained from her experience as a chiropractor, with the ancient eastern knowledge passed through generations of yoga teachers. Robin’s classes emphasize safety, breath, alignment, and movement, while teaching students ways to strengthen and lengthen their bodies to handle the stresses of our modern lifestyle. If you are coming to her as a patient, expect to be prescribed yoga! Learn more about Dr. Armstrong at www.stayactive.ca.