Understanding Angles in Asana. Trikonasana – Triangle Pose. Trikona meaning triangle, and asana meaning posture or seat. Author – Felise Berman Founder and Director of Shiva Shanti Yoga –
If you look at an angle, it has no arrows, but it is still a ray, and goes on infinitely, only the angle, does not have the arrows. I believe that all angles are simply rays.
Feet: Right foot faces forward; left foot turned slightly inward; Feet are about 3.5 to 4 feet apart, the right heel intersects left arch. Lift your arches; spread the toes; feel connected through all four corners of the feet.
Legs: Engage the legs and firm the thighs. Turn the front thigh outward and align the kneecap. The back leg is internally rotated and engaged.
Hips: Bend from the hip over the right leg. Stack the hips. Engage lower abdominals, and apply moolabandha.
Torso: Rotate left, keeping sides equally long. Elongate both sides of the body.
Shoulders: Draw shoulder blades together and away from ears. Stack left shoulder over right shoulder.
Chest: Open the chest towards the ceiling and lift. Maintain the space between the ribcage and pelvis on both sides of body.
Arms: Form a straight continuous vertical line with the arms, fingers straight, palms open, elbows extended, in line wrist to wrist.
Neck: Don’t collapse the neck but rather elongate the neck, Turn your face towards the ceiling, with the crown of the head reaching away from the body as an extension of the spine.
Gaze/Dristi: Toward left fingertips or ceiling.
Contraindications: Headache, high or low blood pressure, heart condition, neck problems, hamstring injury.
Modifications: Neck – don’t look up (look straight ahead). Hand on block, or hand on thigh above the knee.
Benefits: Stimulates abdominals. Aids in digestion; relieves backache; and strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankles. It also stretches the hips, groin, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest and spine.
Major Muscle Groups:
1. (Legs) The adductor magnus internally rotates and moves the femur back to extend the knee, the vastii and articularis genus activates to deepen the dorsi flexion in the ankle, the intrinsic foot muscles need to maintain the integrity of the arches of the foot, so the extrinsic muscles can release the ankle.
2. (Torso) Psoas minor, obliques; deep extensors work precisely to maintain a neutral spinal alignment.
3. (Arms) The serratus anterior upwardly rotates and abducts the scapulae, while the infraspinatus, teres minor and posterior deltoids work to externally rotate the glenohumeral.
Counter pose: Standing poses, seated forward bends and twists.
Chakra: Mooladhara the First Chakra and is seen as the Color Red.
Inhale or Exhale: Exhale into the pose.
Props: Belts, Blocks, Rope, Wall, Bench or Chair Sandbags, etc.
• Belts: In hands behind shoulders to form straight line, gently pulling on the belt in both directions.
• Blocks: The right hand on a block on the outside of the foot.
• Wall: Rest your back up against the wall.
• Chair: Right hand on a solid chair.
Advanced Variations: Left hand to right thigh and bind. One or both hands over head (extended triangle), or hand on floor on outside of left leg.
Therapeutic Modifications: Hand on a few blocks or on a chair.
Adjustments/Hands on Assist:
1. Guide the student’s hand and arm straight up toward ceiling.
2. Hands on hips, rotate top hip upwards.
3. Hand on top hip drawing it back. Cross your arm over student in front of chest and open their chest. Be careful here not to upset the student by crossing your arm over the breast.
4. Extend the student’s neck by supporting the back of their head with your hand.
Asana Teaching, Myth, Story and Metaphor:
Keep the body on one vertical plane as if you are between two plates of glass. A triangle has many symbolic meanings, such as past, present, and future, or spirit, mind, and body. A triangle points upward, with a strong and stable foundation rooted to the ground. A triangle is composed of three sides. Trinities appear in many of the world’s religions and cultures such as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; or Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. In triangle pose three triangle shapes, or three trinities, are made with your body—sacred three times:
1. The triangle under your legs.
2. The triangle under your front arm (from armpit to hip to where your front hand touches).
3. The triangle from your top hand down to each foot.
In the light of sacred geometry, our yoga practice becomes the highest expression of that which is sacred—the blending of mind, body, and soul.
Copyright 2017 – Author Felise Berman (You may not use any part of this work without the author’s direct permission if you quote this body of work please list its source.)
Shiva Shanti Yoga. All rights reserved. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author and publisher Shiva Shanti Yoga. Printed in the United State of America.