How to Do the Revolving Triangle Pose

Training for the Boston marathon is under way, and I’ve seen a lot of runners hobbling around with tight I.T. bands and hamstrings!  This week’s yoga pose was requested by local Boston author and all around renaissance man Terry Connell.  Since it stretches your legs and hips like nobody’s business, I thought that it would be the perfect choice for all of you runners out there.

The revolved triangle (parivrtta trikonasana) is a forward folding posture, twist, and balance all wrapped into one.  The spinal rotation required in the full expression  of the pose makes it substantially more challenging that its counterpart the extended triangle.  Rotating with the front leg straight can help to release tension in the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius and have a therapeutic affect if you’re suffering from IT band syndrome.

To build into the pose, you’ll need to begin by ramping up the temperature on your internal thermostat with a few rounds of sun-salutations and a group of standing poses.  Research suggests that human flexibility increases up to twenty percent when the body is warm, so don’t be a slacker and leave this part out!

After warming up with sun-salutations  hold each of these postures for ten honest breaths.

You’ll find that taking a side bending posture before attempting the twisting triangle will help you rotate more fully into the full expression of the pose.   The lounge lizard pose is great for this.  It uses gravity and your body’s weight to stretch your side like a rubber band (in case you’re wondering, the source of this name seems to be  the inimitable Ana Forrest).

The lounge lizard feels great, so hold it for up to twenty breaths.

The Lounge Lizard Pose

Once you’ve heated up and prepared for the twist you’re ready to get down to business!

Entering parivrtta trikonasansa:  Beginning from the downward dog, step your right foot forward to your thumbs.  Turn your left heel down to the floor and take an inhale to rise to warrior I pose.  Once you’ve gotten to the top, place your right hand on your right hip and straighten your right leg entirely.  Hinge forward from the hip crease to a full ninety degrees.  Rotate your torso to the right, and place your hand either on a yoga block or directly outside your right foot.  Twisting toward your right leg, extend your right arm into the air and hold for ten full breaths.

The full expression of the pose should look something like this:

Use these pointers from the PVYU Core System of Alignment while you practice:

Engage the pelvic thoracic line to release tension from your back muscles and substantially deepen your twist.  To engage this line, shorten the space between your belt buckle and your ribs by pulling the front of your pelvis upward toward your chin.

Use the abdominal line to help you isolate more of the twist in the waist. Engage this line by drawing your belly muscles upward and inward to the spine.  Holding your belly in, focus on twisting your right belly muscles into the left like you were wringing out a washrag.

Activate the Rib Line. To engage this line, hiss through your teeth like a leaky tire (I know this is weird, so you’ll have to trust me on this one.   Hissing helps to hug your ribs into your center line and releases a ton of tension in your back which in turn will help you twist deeper).  Once you’ve hissed out all of your air, take of attention to your left ribs.  Twist the washrag again by spinning your left ribs into the right.

Note: Looking down while twisting will protect your neck and make the balance substantially easier.  That said, if you enjoy looking up, don’t let me be the one to hold you back!

Happy practicing!

David

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