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Triangle Yoga Pose – Trikonasana

Laura in Triangle Pose

Trikonasana

[trik-cone-AHS-anna]

Tri means three and Kona means angle. This translates into three angle posture. Triangles represent the three forces of nature: tamas (inertia), rajas (action), and sattva (harmony). They also represent the tripartite expression of the Cosmic Self: Brahma, the creator; Vishnu, the preserver; and Shiva, the destroyer. Triangles can also symbolize the interplay between dependency, independence, and interaction.

Triangles are inseparable from the power of the number three. The Lord of Yoga, Shiva, holds a three-pronged sceptre that represents the state of satchitananda (truth, bliss, and consciousness). Skilled magicians take the mystery and secrets of the number three seriously. In Greek mythology there are three Graces, three Fates, three Furies and three Gorgons. Through folktales, we have The Three Little Pigs, Three Billy Goats Gruff, three wishes, three guesses and many more examples of the power of the number three.

Celtic literature and art is replete with creatures that have three heads and figures grouped in clusters of three. It is not unusual for one head to have three faces in Celtic stories. According to Celtic legend, fairies are thought to live where oak, ash and thorn trees grow together. Celtic shamans claimed to be able to see the past, present and future. This gave credence to their interpretations and advice. It made their insight and perspective seem less biased and subjective.

In satanic ritual, conjuring demons requires that three black animals are sacrificed. The three primary gods (Anu, Bel, and Ea) of ancient Babylon represent Heaven, Earth and the Abyss.

The symbolic importance of triangles and the number three can be found throughout history and across all cultures. We can find it in the following well-known grouping of concepts such as:
1. Body, mind, and spirit.
2. Past, present, and future.
3. Art, science, and religion.

Our belief in the power of three is reflected in our most sacred cultural and religious institutions. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit form the holy Trinity in the Christian and Catholic religions. In Hinduism, Brahma, Shiva, and Visnu form a similar structure. Most families are also built upon the structure of mother, father and child (or children).

In the picture above, you can see two triangles. One triangle is between my front leg, front arm and torso. The tip is pointing down which indicates feminine energy. The other triangle is in between my front and back leg and the yoga mat. The tip is pointing down which indicates masculine energy. The synonymous formation of a masculine and feminine triangle metaphorically indicates that practising triangle pose creates a state of internal balance.

 

Benefits of Triangle Pose

  • Creates traction for the spine.
  • Stretches the muscles in the lower back away from the sacrum, creating more space in a part of the body that is often chronically compressed.
  • Activates the heart chakra, giving an enhanced sense of peace, compassion and calm.

Contraindications

  • Begin with appropriate modifications if you suffer from lower back pain, sacroiliac discomfort, or hip pain.
  • Adjust your gaze if you experience neck pain.

Step-by-Step

  • Start in mountain pose with your toes together and your heels half an inch apart.
  • Step back with your left foot until your feet are one leg length apart for triangle stance.
  • Check to make sure your front foot is parallel with the edges of the mat.
  • Turn the toes of the back foot out so the back foot is almost parallel with the back of the mat. The foot is on a slight angle forward so that the foot and knee can maintain healthy alignment and point in the same direction.
  • Inhale and hinge from the hip crease of the front leg. Extend the torso out over the front leg. One way to facilitate this is to place the fingertips of your front hand on the hip crease of your front leg (the wrinkly part at the top of your pant leg) and press in as you reach the torso out over the leg. This will also encourage your hips to move back and up.
  • Exhale and slide your front hand down your front leg, bringing your hand to rest on your knee, shin or ankle.
  • Avoid placing the hand so low on your leg that it causes your spine to side bend. The torso should remain in neutral with both sides of the waist equally long.
  • Inhale and reach your top arm up. Keep it in line with your shoulder. Bring your gaze to look up at your top hand or down to your bottom hand.
  • As you stretch your arms away from each other, feel your heart open and your lungs relax.
  • For more of a challenge: bring the front heel in line with the arch of the back foot.
  • Push your feet into the mat while reaching your top arm to the ceiling to bring you back into an upright position.

Preparatory Poses

Counter Poses

triangle pose fun variation with hands ontriangle pose hands on adjustment