Triangle pose is a pretty common pose, seen in a variety of class styles, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s one of those poses that doesn’t seem to complex, but once you start working with the actions, you can see it’s true depth. The problem is this type of detail isn’t often workshopped in classes, but simply glanced over. Take 10 minutes, practice the actions and begin to find new clarity and understanding in your triangle pose.
How to Do Triangle Pose
- Start standing at the top of your mat.
- Step your right foot back decently far (we’ll start with the left forward like in the picture).
- Keep your left foot pointing toward the front of your mat. Turn your right foot about 45 degrees.
- Check your stance. Does it feel too wide or too short? Adjust it.
- Engage both legs, hugging the muscles toward the bones and keeping both legs straight (no bent knees and no hyperextended knees).
- Keep the legs engaged and raise your arms up to shoulder height, palms facing down.
- Make sure your chest and frontal hip bones are facing straight (not over your front foot but toward the long edge of the mat).
- Now, don’t rush and let’s start to move.
- Shift your hips back as far as you can. Think about bringing your right hip toward our right lower ribs. You may feel a stretch in your inner left thigh.
- Now, start to reach your left hand over your foot – as far as you can go. The goal here is to lengthen both sides of your torso evenly.
- Stay where you are and let your left hand float down to your skin, the floor or to a block set up inside your left foot. Think about using your core rather than putting all the weight into your hand.
- Bring your right hand to your hip (just to get that arm out of the way while you finish the legs).
- Think about drawing your outer left hip toward the back of your mat (it might be a very slight movement). This will intensify the stretch in your left hamstrings (backs of the upper legs).
- Allow your right frontal hip bone to roll just slightly toward the floor.
- Now make sure you’re not arching your back and think about growing longer through both sides.
- Finally, raise your right hand straight up from the shoulder joint (not wrenching on the arm).
- Attempt to open your chest completely rather than collapsing (it is a twist), stacking one shoulder over the other.
- Your gaze can either be straight out, down toward the floor or up toward your top hand.
- Now hold all these actions, but find a way to relax just slightly and feel the stability of the pose.
Now, I realize there are a lot of steps here. The first couple times might be challenging, but after a bit of practice, this will come easily and you’ll just remember all this. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns about the actions of this pose or how it makes you feel. Leave anything in the comments and I’ll get right back to you!
Benefits of Triangle Pose
Now that you’ve done the pose, you might notice where you feel a stretch or muscles working.
Stretches: hamstrings, glutes, calves, abdominal (especially the sides of the body – the obliques), arms, neck and back
Strengthens: feet, ankles, calves, knees, hips, back, arms, shoulders, neck, side body (obliques, intercostals), abdomen, thighs, buttocks, psoas
Other benefits: tones the kidneys, may relieve menstrual cramps, may help treat or prevent scoliosis and side flexing like this helps with spinal issues