Triangle Pose: Utthita Trikonasana
- Expands your chest and shoulders.
- Increases mobility of your hip joints.
- Increases neck mobility.
- Stretches your spinal muscles.
- Strengthens and tones muscles of your thights.
- Stretches calf muscles, hamstrings, and hip musculature.
- Increases proprioception (the sense of position in space) of feet and ankles.
- Neck Pain - Keep the head level and look straight forward.
- Low Back Pain - Turn the back foot in slightly to limit force across the Sacroiliac joint, and allow the hip to naturally rotate inwards.
utthita = extended, trikona = three angle
- Stand at the top of your mat in Mountain Pose. Take a big step back (approximately 3 feet) with your right foot, turning your foot towards the side of the mat while keeping your left toes pointing forward. Your two hip points are now facing the side of the mat.
- Inhale as you take your arms out in a “T” with your palms pointing down. You shoulders are relaxed while moving your shoulder blades down your back.
- Exhale as you begin to hinge at your hip towards your left leg, deepening the crease where your hip bone meets your pelvis.
- Continue to reach out through the top of the head, keeping the spine long, and both sides of the torso of equal length. Lift your knee cap on your front thigh, contracting the quadriceps to support your knee.
- Allow your left hand to float towards your (from beginner to advanced) shin, a block on the inside of the foot, a block on the outside of the foot, or your fingers/palm on the mat or big toe.
- Your right arm will float up towards the sky, keeping the arms in a “T”. Which ever hand position you choose for your bottom hand, ensure you keep your spine and torso long, without creating a bend in the waist.
- Draw your low belly in to support the lower spine.
- Tuck your chin in slightly, lengthening the top of the neck near the skull, and turn your gaze up towards your right hand.
- Keep your connection with the earth, especially grounding with the outside of your back foot, and all four corners of your front foot.
- Breathe comfortably as you hold the position.
- 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.
- Turn and step back to the top of the mat and repeat on the opposite side.
- Use satya (truthfulness) with yourself to determine how far you will enter into the pose. Often backing off our furthest limit in Trikonasana allows a better opening in the pelvis and shoulders.
- Although the intention is to square our hips to side of the mat, do not force this action which can put unnecessary stress across the joints of the lower back. To increase the opening of your pelvis, move from your feet. Connecting strongly through both feet (as above) to allow movement to trickle up to the pelvis. Imagine the tailbone lengthening away from the crown of the head and the crown away from the tail.
- Maintain space between the ribcage and the pelvis on both sides of the body. Focus on keeping the spine long and avoid crunching your ribs into the pelvis.
- If you have neck pain, keep the head level and look straight forward.
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.