Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Posing on Tuesday; Triangle

Is it wrong that I'm giggling at my dog who needs to see where I am and what I'm doing nearly every moment?

"Hey ma, your pants smell different today. What's that about?" "No, Bear, I'm pretty sure they smell the same as they usually do. Please move behind me so I can show the nice people how to do triangle pose." "Ok, fine, but I'm still gonna be in all your pictures."

Today we're talking about...

(Trikonasana or Utthita Trikonasana )

This is one of the poses I really like to teach in my beginner's class. You can take it to any level that's comfortable for you and your body, get a great stretch while improving core strength, and not have to sacrifice your form at any point. This pose is about learning how to do it correctly from the beginning.

So, we start standing with our feet wide apart. Back foot is parallel to the back of your mat or turned in no more than 15 degrees. Front foot is pointing straight towards the front of your mat and the heel is lined up with the arch of your back foot.

Hips are square - which basically means if your hips were a box, the bottom edge would be parallel to the floor and the sides would be perpendicular. Also make sure that you're not arching your back and tilting your tail bone up. You want your back to be flat. You dig?

Then take your arms up to a T position with your palms facing down, and as you reach your front arm forward, press your back hip towards the back of your mat.

Once you've reached as far as you comfortably can, just place your front hand wherever it falls on your front leg, on the floor or on a block, inside or outside the leg - just don't put it on your knee. It puts too much pressure on the joint.

The most important thing is to keep your chest up and open towards the side of your mat.  Only take your hand as low as you can without collapsing the chest down towards the floor.

This could mean your hand is down on the lower side of the block...

Or turned on its higher end...

Pretend you are flat up against a wall.

Just like in extended right angle, you can reach your top arm over your head towards the front of the room or wrap your arm around your back if you want to take the stretch a little deeper.

Just keep your legs straight, your chest open, and if your neck is in good shape and your balance allows, turn your head up and look at your top hand.

And say hi to Panda. She only got in the way once during this whole process.

What do you think of triangle pose? Have you tried it? Did you use a block? What was the most challenging part of this pose for you?

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