Stabilize and Twist: Take Revolved Triangle Pose to the Wall
Feeling twisted out of shape isn’t fun, nor is it pleasant to find yourself all tied up in knots. But here’s a yoga paradox: the more strongly we twist, the more we unwind.
Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose) is an intense twist, but at the beginning, less of our attention goes to twisting than to maintaining balance. Take it to the wall, and you can deepen the twist with good alignment. Once you’ve learned how that feels, you can recapture it in the full pose without the wall.
To go further, have a block between your front foot and the wall. Once you have the twist in your ribcage, slowly slide your hand down the wall to reach the block.
- To begin, stand with your back to the wall, feet three to three and a half feet apart. Bring your pubic bone parallel to the wall in front of you. Lift your thigh bones up toward your hip sockets. Draw your shoulder blades down. (photo above)
- Now rotate your right foot and thigh 90 degrees to the right, and your left foot and thigh enough to bring your hip bones parallel to the wall in front of you. (photo right)
- Extend your left heel down toward the floor. Press down into your left outer heel.
- Contract your thigh muscles and imagine lifting both thigh bones, and then press them back.
- Inhale and lift both the front and back of your ribcage. Roll your shoulder blades down your back. Now firm your back thigh, exhale and rotate your torso toward the wall. Place your hands on the wall.
- With your inhalations, lift your thigh bones toward your hip joints. With your exhalations, keep your legs firm as you rotate your ribcage to the right. (photo below)
- Make sure your pubic bone is still lifting toward your navel. Squeeze your thigh bones tightly toward the center of your hip sockets. Continue to rotate your left ribcage to the wall.
- Hold for two or three soft, even breaths, then release, and bring your feet to face forward.
- Check that your feet are still parallel, then repeat on the left side.
Benefits of Revolved Triangle Pose
Revolved Triangle tones the thigh, calf and hamstring muscles, expands the chest, invigorates the abdominal organs, and strengthens the hip muscles. Working with the full pose improves your balance.
Taking the pose to the wall lets you work the actions of the pose without fighting for balance.
How to Sequence the Triangle Pose at the Wall
If you are a beginner, try this preparation on its own whenever you need to refresh and untangle your mind and body. In a longer practice, place it after Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) and before the rest of your standing poses.
In a more mature practice, use this preparation before you work with Revolved Triangle and take what you learn at the wall into the pose. You can also use this preparation to warm up before seated closed twists such as Ardha Matsyendrasena (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose) and Marichyasana III (Marichi’s Pose III).
Cautions for Practicing Revolved Triangle Pose
Although this is a gentle preparation for the full pose, if you have a back injury, check with your teacher before you try it. Do not practice Revolved Triangle Pose if you are menstruating or pregnant.
Say: par-ee-vrit-tah trik-cone-AH-sanna. Parivrtta means to turn around, to revolve; tri means three; kona means angle; asana means pose.