For the month of April, I have chosen Triangle Pose or Trikonasana to be my pose of the month.
The Triangle pose gives an excellent and complete stretch throughout the entire body as it stretches the hamstrings, the hips and the calves, improves overall balance and also strengthens the lower back.
The benefits of the Triangle pose include:-
•Removes tension from the neck as the neck muscles are given a twist while looking up.
•Reduces excess fat from the sides of the abdomen, thus giving the body a more graceful form.
•Increase flexibility of the waist and hip joints.
•Opens up the chest and expands it.
•Back muscles are strengthen, thus making the spine more supple.
•Relieves constipation by invigorating the peristaltic action of the bowels.
1.Standing in Tadasana (mountain pose), walk your feet approximately 4 feet apart. Your feet need to be in line and pointing forward at right angles.
2.Inhale and lift your arms out to the side at shoulder height, level with the ground. Palms are faced down.
3.Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and turn your left foot towards the right about 30 degrees. The right heel is in line with the back of the arch of the heel of the left foot. The right knee should be in line with the right ankle.
4.With an inhale, lengthen the spine and lift the chest, looking straight ahead.
5.Exhale and extend your torso to the right, bending from the hip joint, not the waist, allowing your hips to shift to the left. Slowly drop your right arm towards the lower leg, while stretching the left arm up towards the sky.
6.Rest your hand either on your thigh, shinbone, ankle or a block. Ground your legs into the floor, especially pressing through the back left heel. Keep your legs straight but do not lock your knees.
7.Keep the thighs firm and rolling around towards the buttocks, moving the left hip back and open the chest.
8.Inhale, extend the neck and spine, keep your head in a neutral position or, if your neck feels OK, turn your face to look up at your left hand. Make sure your chest is facing forward and keep opening your whole body up. Breathe easy.
9.To come out from the pose, inhale and lift the torso up. Turn your feet to the left, and repeat the pose on the left side, hold it for the same number of breaths as you did on the right.
Some points to note:
•It is important to keep the lower back straight in this pose.
•Remember that when you are twisting, the hips do not twist along. Otherwise the right hand side becomes active and the lower back gets “locked up” which will result in tension in the lower back.
•The right hand is only touching the right leg so you can reach the arm long and the shoulder reaching down which is countered by the left arm reaching long and upward.
•If you’re not sure you’re properly aligned, practice this pose with your heels about an inch away from the wall, allowing your shoulders, hands, and hips to touch it.
I was having some pain when I did the triangle pose especially when I leaned down, I felt pain at the back of my front thigh. I managed to get some advice from Judy Krupp, a yoga guru whose workshop I attended last year. She told me one of two things that could help. Firstly not to go down that low over the front leg if my hamstrings are tight. And secondly I might be holding my back hip up, not to square off the hips and to soften the back hip lightly forward. I followed her advice and adjusted the pose accordingly and it did help to ease the pain.