4 Things To Do In Triangle Pose Today

Triangle pose is one of those postures that can be so daunting.  Especially when the teacher unabashedly says, “Triangle, the master posture of the class!”  Cue horror movie theme song.  


We’ve all secretly hoped she might forget about this one today.  But it’s those mountainous, scary postures that hold the most power.  Cue Rocky theme song. 


Triangle combines strength, flexibility, focus and will power.  It helps you develop awareness of your body and mind, which when applied to your life, can help in breaking old unwanted patterns.  Finishing this posture, knowing you gave it everything you’ve got, you will feel a huge sense of self confidence and gratification wash over you, enlivening your mood.  Triangle is more than just a yoga posture.  Bikram says Triangle Pose brings faith back to your spirit.


Here are two of the most common, and easily corrected, mistakes I see in Triangle: 

  1. Not stepping wide enough

    • Too small of a step, in combination with trying to get your thigh parallel to the floor will cause your knee to go over your toes

    • This puts an excessive amount of weight and force at a strange angle in your knee


  2. Not keeping back hip down while moving in to the posture

    • When moving into posture, hip tends to pop back up, taking away the hip-opening benefits of this posture.

I find most people who don’t step wide enough are afraid that if they do step the proper distance, their feet will slip and they won’t be able to hold the posture. 


First things first, don’t be afraid to fall!  The only way to get stronger is to fall out of posture, get back in and try again.  This will develop that English bulldog determination Bikram raves about.  


Secondly, this posture is meant to strengthen your legs.  Think deeply about the straight leg.  It should be locked and concrete.  The outer edge of that same foot, from the ball of the foot to pinky to heel, should be pressing in to the ground.  Both legs should have an inward pull towards the center line of your posture.  And everything should have an upward stretching sensation toward the ceiling.  


The energy of the posture should come in and up, so that nothing collapses down and out.  


“Inhale, just move your arms.”  And then, the hips pop up.  When asking students what makes them bring their hips back up when moving into the posture, I usually hear that their hips are tight and it is uncomfortable to keep them down.  

Yes.  It is uncomfortable.  It SHOULD BE uncomfortable.  If you wanted comfortable you’d be on the couch watching Netflix, munching on macarons.  Don’t be afraid of being uncomfortable.


Triangle is a deep hip opening posture, and shying away from the discomfort (which is different from pain, but that’s a whole other topic) will take away the main benefit.  Try keeping hips down but continuously stretching upwards to take some tension out of the hip and prevent collapsing into it.  Do the posture correctly and as your hips gain mobility, any discomfort will dissipate.  


Do these 4 things next time you do Triangle:

  1. Take a wide enough step.  Four feet is a good starting point.

  2. Keep your hips down as much as you can.  Ninety degrees in your front leg will give you an idea of how low you should go.

  3. Continuously stretch up towards the ceiling.  

  4. Don’t be afraid to slip a little.  Just set it up and try again.


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