4 Ways to Use Props to Enhance Yoga’s Triangle Pose

A yogi in a triangle pose with chair props to maintain the long side body extension in your trunk

Yoga props are an essential part of an advanced yoga practice. Yet, props are often perceived as a “crutch,” but nothing could be further from the truth. Yoga props are used to advance practice. They enable the practitioner to stay in any pose for an extended period with a keen awareness of alignment and muscular activation. 

The prop—now the teacher—will educate, enhance, and increase awareness in various parts of the body. Using a prop, you can isolate various actions that make up a pose. After all, the practice of yoga asana is not a “performance”—it is a practice of learning, seeking, understanding, evolving, and appreciating the pose to obtain its benefits.

Props are valuable tools in all yoga poses, but they can be especially effective in Triangle Pose.

Try These 4 Variations of Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana) With Props to Evolve Your Practice

Experiment with yoga props in these different variations of Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose) to evolve in your practice. You may also want to watch the wide-legged stance video (at the bottom of this article) before you practice the Triangle Chair Practice Below.

1. Chair Utthita Trikonasana Variations (with video)

In these variations, the chair helps you maintain the long side body extension in your trunk without reaching your hand to your ankle or the floor. The chair by your side offers different levels of elongation along your waistline. 

Start with your bottom hand on the backrest of the chair and perhaps work your way toward bringing your hand to the chair’s seat and then onto the bottom rung.

You can vary this practice by exploring all of these actions on one side and then on the other, or you can change to the opposite side in between each level of lowering your hand on the chair.

3 More Triangle Pose Variations with Props

Yoga props can help teach the proper alignnment in a pose such as Triangle Pose

Yoga props are powerful tools to inform your practice and educate your body about specific alignment patterns and muscle actions. They are super helpful to use in both “advanced” and “fundamental” postures to teach your body new ways of practicing.

Experiment with all these variations in Utthita Trikonasana, and then perhaps try to practice without the props afterward to see if the props help imprint on your muscle memory. Play with various actions and focal points in your Triangle Pose, and then perhaps experiment with similar prop placements in other foundational poses. You just might be surprised by what a difference they can make to your practice overall.

2. Propped Foot Triangle Pose

In this variation, the prop raises the foot of your front leg. Thus, firming your quadriceps by drawing up on your kneecaps requires more effort since your foot is lifted. This also causes the front of your thigh muscle to be drawn up (as opposed to pushed back) and pushes your body weight onto your back foot. 

3. Blocked Triangle Pose

Many of the previous variations with yoga props accentuate the elongation of the front of the leg and the opening of the back of the leg. But for very flexible practitioners, this may cause undue over-stretching, possibly leading to injury.  

To avoid this, a block can be wedged under your calf muscle (try placing it at an angle). This will teach you to contract your thigh muscles and knees in the pose. 

By securing your back foot at the wall, you can stabilize the pose more easily. 

4. Strapped and Blocked Triangle Pose

In this variation, your back foot is firm at the wall, and a strap is looped around the top of the thigh of your front leg/hip joint and back foot.

Pushing the outer edge of your foot into the strap and block against the wall will lift your inner back leg and the arches of your foot. The strap around your hip joint and thigh will bring your thigh bone deeper into your hip socket, creating stability in the pose. 

(Prop variations are courtesy of David Jacobs and Leah Sugerman)

Watch this Wide-Legged Stance preparation Video

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