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Trikonasana, or Triangle Pose
Examining the Pose from Many Different Angles

Trikonasana One of the challenges of Trikonasana, or Triangle Pose, is to align your torso, hips and legs all on the same plane. If you are a beginner or advanced beginner who has been diligently practicing Triangle for a number of months, you may feel you are beginning to achieve that. On a good day, maybe you even feel almost two-dimensional! It's funny how our perceptions can warp reality. Just for practice (and a bit of enlightenment), try doing Triangle with your back against a blank wall. Feels different, doesn't it? You probably couldn't get your hand as far down on your leg as usual, either. Maybe your Triangle isn't all that you thought it was. If that's the case, don't despair - after all, Trikonasana is supposed to open your Anahata Chakra and give you a feeling of happiness. And you should be happy, really - you've just learned a valuable lesson in both alignment and humility, which means you've taken another step forward on your own personal path of progress.

(Article continued below.)

Of course, there's more to Triangle than just aligning your body on one plane. Like every Asana, it's very complex and its benefits are many. It strengthens your whole body, especially your legs, back and neck. The gentle twisting motion adds to your spine's flexibility. It opens your chest and works your shoulders.

It stretches and strengthens your feet. The process of digestion is enhanced. Triangle will help you find your center, a place of inner peace and love. It is also a reminder of the three primary forces of creation, which are present in every religion or spiritual discipline. You may know them as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, or as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, or the Affirming, Denying and Reconciling forces. Both religion and science assert that it takes three elements to create anything and everything in the Universe. The creative triangle and Triangle the pose are very much related.

Although Triangle is taught in most beginning Yoga classes, it is not necessarily an easy pose to accomplish. Students often try to progress too fast - they want to get their hand on their ankle or on the floor as quickly as possible. As long as that is seen as a goal, it will undermine the integrity of the pose. It's funny how the subconscious works - you think you're really concentrating on form, but your hand is sneaking farther down your leg than it should and your alignment is ever-so-subtly deteriorating. The depth of the pose is always the least important aspect of an Asana. Alignment, awareness, introspection - these add up to a well-done pose, not how deeply it can be practiced. Following are some of the areas of focus that will benefit the quality of your Triangle.

Next page >> Triangle 101 >> Page 1, 2

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