In many ways, triangles are versatile symbols. When a triangle stands with one tip pointing up then it represents masculine energy. When a triangle is inverted with one tip pointing down then it represents feminine energy.
If you look at the picture of Carmalita practising revolved triangle on the previous page, you can clearly see one triangle with the tip pointing down in between her front leg, bottom arm and torso. You can see another triangle between her back leg, front leg and her yoga mat. One of the triangles has the tip pointing down. This indicates feminine energy. The other triangle has the tip pointing up. This indicates masculine energy. One of the goals of hatha yoga is to obtain a state of internal balance between opposing forces. Symbolically, this balance is successfully obtained through the creation of a masculine and feminine triangle.
Magicians view triangles and circles as two of the most important symbols. Circles are a symbol of the infinite. Triangles are a symbol of manifestation. Adept magicians know that they need the help of a triangle in order to draw any power, spirit or being into a magic circle.
For magicians, the triangle is a diagram of the three dimensional world as we know it. The three-dimensional world is made up of the physical, astral, and causal planes. Any being, power or invoked spirit must run through all three planes in order to manifest themselves.
While the power of a circle lies in the fact that it has no limits, the power of a triangle lies in its ability to project its limits. Triangles are thought to be so powerful that magicians study the triangles that make up the Tree of Life from the Kabbalah.
The Tree of Life is made up of many triangles and is a representation of the way the Universe first came into existence. It describes the descent of the divine into the material world, and how we can re-ascend to a state of divine union in this life.
The three main triangles which make up the Tree of Life include the supernal triangle, the ethical triangle, and the astral triangle. There are seven planes within the tree. This is just one of many strong similarities between the sefirot and the chakras described in yoga philosophy.
Benefits of Revolved Triangle Pose
- Massages the internal organs.
- Stimulates your systems of elimination.
- Tones the deeper abdominal muscles and obliques (if you twist from the waist).
- This asana should be avoided if you have recently had spinal or disc surgery, abdominal surgery, a hernia or are pregnant.
- People with lower back pain are encouraged to practice with modifications.
- Start in mountain pose with your toes together and your heels half an inch apart.
- Slide the left foot back into pyramid stance. Make sure to draw the foot back as far as possible while still keeping your hips square to the front. Many of your students may not draw the foot back far enough so you may need to provide additional cues to encourage them to do so.
- Allow your back foot to be slightly turned out.
- Make sure to avoid crossing your back foot behind your front foot.
- Ground through the back heel in order to anchor the asana.
- Lower your torso and bring your left arm across the midline of the body.
- Place your left hand on the right knee, shin or outside of your right foot.
- Feel the support provided by the equilateral triangle created by the legs and the triangle created by the lower arm and front leg.
- Feel the rotation of the torso and the stretch in the hips.
- Bring your right palm to the small of your back.
- Feel the cervical spine lengthen. The twist in the cervical spine is always the gentlest and completes the rotation of your spine. However, it is the oblique abdominals that initiate the twist. The deepest twist is in the abdominals.
For more of a challenge:
- Reach the top arm toward the ceiling, making sure not to strain. Make sure you are twisting evenly up the entire spine. (Note: if you open your arms, make sure you are not straining and are twisting evenly throughout the entire spine.
- Lower at the top arm down, bringing the body out of the twist.