The trikonasana, also often called the extended triangle pose, is a yogic posture practised among our people since time immemorial. Practising this posture regularly over some time is said to (and indeed does) have several positive effects on our body and mind.
The Trikonasana, or the Extended Triangle Pose
We shall talk about one particular yogic posture today – the Trikonasana, or as often called the Extended Triangle pose. It is one of the basic postures in yoga, finding inclusion in many varied styles of yoga. The word “trikonasana” is in Sanskrit, comprising of two main parts – “Trikona”, translated to English as “three corners” or “triangle” and “Asana”, which upon translating to English reads “posture”. The trikonasana thus, as the name suggests, involves executing a pose such that the orientation of our body resembles a triangle.
This posture, or asana, greatly enhances the strength of the thighs, knees and ankles and stimulates the abdominal region, thus aiding digestion. This posture is greatly beneficial to our body: indeed, it is safe to say that it is one of the most important and beneficial yogic poses known to mankind. It is a pose with great positive effects and assists in reducing excessive fat in the waist region, stimulates the sides of the body and provides laterally stretches the spine and enhances the functions of the liver. It is also believed to reactivate the so-called ‘blocked energy pathways’ in our body through which our prana, or ‘lifeforce’ is supposedly channeled through. Quite a few benefits for a single posture, wouldn’t you agree?
Now that we have a basic idea about the posture itself and all its advantages, let us now try and see how we can execute this powerful pose correctly.
Procedure Trikonasana, The Extended Triangle Pose
1) We start by standing in the basic yogic posture of the Tadasana. Accompanied by a release of breath, we step forward such that our feet are between 3.5 to 4 feet apart. We then proceed to lift our arms such that they are parallel to the ground, and then we stretch them out sideways, while ensuring that our shoulder blades stand wide and our palms face downwards.
2) We then turn our left foot slightly inwards to make the toes face the right hand side and our right foot outwards in a similar fashion such that the toes face right. We mus see that the left and right heels are equally angled. We then tighten our thighs and proceed to turn our right thigh in an outward direction, so that the central portion of the right knee cap is aligned with the center of the right ankle.
3) We then gradually breath out and stretch out our torso towards the right, right over the right leg, bending from the pelvic joint (and not the waist). We may stabilize this movement by reinforcing the left leg and applying pressure via the heel by applying a strong pressure against the floor with it. We rotate our upper body leftwards, maintaining equal length on both sides. We allow the left hip to reach slightly in the forward direction and extend the coccyx towards the rear heel.
4) We allow our right hand to relax on our ankle, shin or the region of the floor around our right foot, whichever is convenient without disturbing the sides of the upper body. We then outstretch our left arm upwards in the direction of the ceiling, aligned with the tops of our shoulders. We may keep our head in either a disengaged position or have it turned leftwards, such that we see our left thumb.
5) We may ideally retain this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute, after which we breathe in to come up, strongly pressuring ourselves against the floor firmly with our feet and extending the arm upwards in the direction the ceiling. We then repeat the same posture again for the same amount of time with the legs reversed.
We may repeat this posture three to four times: we must, however, exercise caution and not overdo it as it may cause harm.
Thus this is how we may exercise the trikonasana posture. Preferably this posture may be done on a yoga mat.
Benefits of Trikonasana, The Extended Triangle Pose
The benefits of the trikonasana posture are many, which include but are certainly not limited to :
- Stretching and enhanced strength and flexibility of the thighs, knees, and ankles.
- A proper stretch in the groin, pelvic region, calves and hamstrings; in the upper body the chest, shoulder, and spinal regions are effectively extended.
- Activates and enhances the functions of the abdominal region and aids in enhancing the digestive functions of the body.
- Assists in alleviating symptoms of stress.
- Provides relief for backaches, especially the ones caused by pregnancy.
- Makes for a potent combative posture for treatment of anxiety, flat feet, lack of fertility, low bone density, aching necks, and sciatica.
Contraindications of Trikonasana, The Extended Triangle Pose
People with the following medical conditions are advised not to practice this pose to avoid any adverse negative effects.
• Low blood pressure
Additionally, individuals suffering from heart conditions must exercise this posture with the support of a wall and must rest their top arm atop their hip. People with neck issues may practice this posture but must ensure that they do not turn their heads attempting to look upwards. Instead they may proceed looking straight ahead keeping either sides of their necks equal.
Modifications of Trikonasana, The Extended Triangle Pose
In the case that it doesn’t seem possible to touch the floor with the fingertips in a manner comfortable to an individual, they may support themselves by pressing their palm on a firm support; for example, a block.
The positive impacts of the trikonasana posture are many – indeed, we may undeniably accept that this posture holds a very important place among the various postures in Yoga. Such gracefulness, such balance is rarely observed, if ever so. And the benefits of this pose towards physical and mental health are countless. Hence
we may conclude here acknowledging that the yogic posture, needless to say, is a fruit of an ancient civilization gifted unto us – we must attempt to practise it and reap the many benefits it offers, and make a step towards a healthier body and a healthier mind through the path of Yoga.
Read our article on The Half Moon Pose.
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