Trikonasana, Part 3: Foot Arch Mastery

William Blake said that you can see the world in a grain of sand. Similarly, the fundamental principles you master in one asana are portable to others. With this in mind, let’s look at the key elements for activating your foot arch in the front leg foot in Trikonasana (Triangle Pose).

Here’s the Cue

First, press the outer edge of your foot into the mat. This engages the tibialis anterior and posterior muscles of the lower leg (figure 1 below). 

An anatomical figure in Triangle pose (Trikonasana), activating foot arch and engaging muscles, cues in yoga

   Figure 1

Maintain that action as you press the ball of your foot into the mat. This engages the peroneus longus and brevis muscles on the outside of your lower leg (figure 2 below). 

An anatomical figure in Triangle Pose (Trikonasana), illustrating cues in yoga practice and opposing forces, while stabilizing the ankle
   Figure 2

Co-activating the muscles that invert (supinate) and evert (pronate) your foot creates an opposing force between these two antagonistic actions that stabilizes your ankle. 

These same muscles work together (as synergists) to lift your foot arch (figures 3 and 4 below). 

An anatomical figure in Triangle Pose (Trikonasana), showing cues in yoga practice and antagonist/synergist combinations in yoga

   Figure 3

An anatomical figure in Triangle Pose (Trikonasana), illustrating verbal cues in yoga practice and antagonist synergist combinations in yoga

   Figure 4

Click here to learn more about another antagonist/synergist combination.

Read parts 1 & 2 in this yoga anatomy & Trikonasana series from Dr. Ray Long, FRCSC – Trikonasana Part 1: How to Coactivate Your Psoas and Quads in Trikonasana & Trikonasana Part 2 – Your Sacroiliac Joint.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Bandha.

Illustrations by the Daily Bandha.

YogaUOnline contributor Ray Long MDAuthor Ray Long MD, FRCSC is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and the founder of Bandha Yoga. Ray graduated from The University of Michigan Medical School with post-graduate training at Cornell University, McGill University, The University of Montreal and Florida Orthopedic Institute. He has studied hatha yoga for over twenty years, training extensively with B.K.S. Iyengar and other leading yoga masters.

YogaUOnline contributor Chris Macivor3d Graphic Designer / Illustrator Chris Macivor has been involved in the field of digital content creation for well over ten years. He is a graduate of Etobicoke School of the Arts, Sheridan College and Seneca College. Chris considers himself to be equally artistic and technical in nature. As such his work has spanned many genres from film and television to video games and underwater imagery.  


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