Deepen Your Understanding of Triangle Pose With a Chair
Article At A Glance
Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose) is usually one of the first standing poses that beginners learn in their yoga journey. But whether you’re a beginner or not, as you learn to practice this asana, different props can help continue your education about the actions required in the pose. Props become the perfect tools to explore, practice, and experience Utthita Trikonasana.
Because Triangle Pose is practiced so often, it is important to understand its anatomical alignment, and props (especially a chair) can be tremendously helpful.
First, Explore the Traditional Alignment of Triangle Pose
The anatomical actions required in Triangle Pose are easily demonstrated when entering the pose through Utthita Hasta Padasana and Parsva Hasta Padasana.
Once your feet have been spread apart, your hips and feet face forward. Then, as your right leg and foot are turned out 90 degrees, and your back foot toes are turned in slightly, your hips follow to face diagonally toward the front of the mat.
As you extend your trunk sideways and down, reaching for a prop, your ankle, or the floor, your hips continue to move naturally.
Bring some awareness to your back leg and experience how the front of that leg faces in the direction of your toes, slightly rotating inward.
Now, Deepen Your Understanding of Triangle Pose With a Chair In These Variations
1. Align Your Hips and Legs
With your hands on the backrest of a chair placed in front of you (close to your frontal hip points), feel the movement of your hips as you turn your feet toward a Triangle Pose alignment.
Rotate your right foot to completely face the top of your mat and slightly pivot your left toes to face forward. Observe the movement within your hips and legs.
2. Elongate Your Side Body
After finding the alignment in your hips and legs, move your chair to the top of your mat in front of your right leg.
To support the elongation of the side of your trunk in this pose, wedge the backrest of your chair under your right armpit and extend your right arm over the edge of the chair’s seat. Place your right foot under the chair seat so that the rung of the chair is against your calf muscle. Fix the front of your right shinbone against the chair rung and wedge a block behind your calf muscle. Finally, raise your left arm to reach toward the sky.
The chair brings your attention to the extension in the sides of your trunk and creates firm stability in your legs.
3. Spiral Your Torso
Now, place the chair in front of your chest and press your left hand into its backrest to assist in turning your trunk toward the left.
Place your left foot on a block to bring awareness to the inward rotation of your back leg. Also, focus on extending your right leg as much as possible.
Now, position the chair behind your trunk and reach your left hand behind you to hold the backrest of the chair to help rotate your shoulders backward and spiral your heart toward the left side of your mat.
Maintain your left foot on a block to bring awareness to the inward rotation of your back leg and focus on the extension of your front leg
5. Spiral Deeper
To further assist with the rotation of your trunk and shoulders with your legs spread apart, keep the backrest of the chair behind your body with your left hand holding on to it.
First, place your right hand on the chair seat and revolve your chest toward the left side of your mat. Then, perhaps reach your right hand farther down to hold the rung of the chair while keeping your left hand on the backrest. This will increase the rotation of your chest and shoulders while still offering stability and support in the pose.
After you’ve tried these variations with your right leg forward, repeat them all on the opposite side with your left leg forward.
Deepen Your Understanding of Triangle Pose Alignment With Props
When exploring the anatomy of the Triangle Pose, a chair is an invaluable tool to help you feel and experience the actions and alignment of the body. (Image above shows Revolved Triangle Pose with a Chair)
Have fun exploring and experimenting with these different variations of Triangle Pose, and observe if you notice any revolutionary breakthroughs in your practice. You might find a totally new way of aligning your Triangle Pose that you’ve never explored before.
David Jacobs, Author