Pose of the Week - Trikonasana
This week we take a look at how to do Trikonasana or Uhitta Trikonasana or Triangle pose
Uhitta = extended
Trikon = three angle or triangle
Asana = Yep, your right… pose
Trikonasana is strengthening and a grounding standing pose. It involves twisting both your spine and ribcage, moving against gravity - because of this movement there is a strong tendency to round forwards and down.
Triangle is about connection to the earth. As one of the key standing poses in modern asana practice, it’s triangle shape that has a dynamic and a power that is unique in the panoply of standing poses. We like that shape – we reach towards heaven whilst staying earthbound in grace.
Trikonasana is an excellent pose of strengthening both the muscles and the bones, which makes it incredibly beneficial for women and as a preventative to oestoperosis as poses like this can boost bone density. But, it must be performed gradually and slowly developed… think of it like a handstand.
Trikonasana strengthens your core, thighs and legs. The deep muscles in your spine engage to stabilise your spine and provides feedback to your brain and strengthening mind-body connection or proprioception.
Things to be cautious about ….
Numbness, sharpness or shooting pains. Especially in the knee as twos may be due to pressure or impingement on your nerves. Also if you feel like your arm is going to sleep lower your raised arm - this is because of the pressure occluding the blood vessels - the scalene muscle may press on the racial nerve plexus.
Hyperextension of the knee, this can block nerves and blood vessels. The aim is to micro bend your knee - this way you will make your muscles work even harder to support your knee joint strengthening it even further.
Pose Key points
Feet pressed firmly into the floor weight even, toes are spread and relaxed. Front calf muscle is engaged and the back stretched to engaged to act as the stabiliser.
Quads are engaged. Your hamstrings lengthen while they are engaged to stabilise and maintain balance.
Transversospinales engage and rotate with awareness
Rotator cuff muscles stabilise your shoulders
Neck muscles dynamically engaged as you look upward as they stretch
Tricep is engaged to lengthen through your elbow, which is soft and not locked
This pose isn’t all about the downward action, it doesn’t matter if you get to the floor don’t feel you have to push it. Instead focus on form and technique. Always listen to your body. Yoga isn’t about pose perfection it’s about pose protection - and we’re all made very differently.
Stand in Tadasana.
Step your feet about 1 to 1.5 meters apart. Find your strength and balance.
Turn your right foot, knee and thigh outwards 90 degrees, turn the left foot parallel or slightly inwards.
Inhale stand tall, extending through the crown of your head and reach your right hand and torso towards the right toes.
Exhale and fold from the hips, taking the right hand towards the toes, to your thigh, shin, ankle, foot or floor. There you can use a block or the wall. Remember, this is the point where your top shoulder is going to want to collapse towards the floor so open your chest up and breathe…squeeze the shoulder blades.
The aim is not to get to the floor but rather to develop and strengthen the joints. Little by little you will get there.
Inhale and rotate the trunk upwards ti face forwards, look up at the finger tips on the left hand, or ahead.
Contraindications and Cautions
Heart Condition: Practice against a wall. Keep the top arm on the hip.
High blood pressure: Turn the head to gaze downward in the final pose.
Neck problems: Don't turn your head to look upward; continue looking straight ahead and keep both sides of the neck evenly long.
Modifications and Props
If it isn't possible to comfortably touch the floor with the bottom hand or fingertips, support the palm on a block.
Brace your back heel or the back of your torso against a wall if you feel unsteady in the pose.
Instead of stretching the top arm toward the ceiling, stretch it over the back of the top ear, parallel to the floor.
Let me know what you think in the comments? Is there anything I didn't cover? Or anything that you would like to ask me?