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Triangle pose (utthita trikonasana) is a popular pose in iyengar yoga classes because it promotes alignment by stretching the sides of the spine and the muscles between the ribs, as well as the muscles of the legs and hips. Some style points for fine-tuning your triangle include the following:
-Keep the heel of your front foot in line with the arch of your back foot. The front foot points straight ahead and the back foot is at a 45-degree angle. Starting with the right side, place your right foot in front of you, raise your arms to a T shape and reach your right arm down to your right shin.
-Extend through the back of the knee of the back leg. Many people have a tendency to forget the back leg, but keep both legs and both feet equally active and grounded into the floor.
-Rotate from the hips, and then rotate through the chest. The head should be the last part of the body to turn towards the ceiling, and if your neck bothers you, it's OK to gaze at the floor in this pose. Try to stack your shoulders so they form a line perpendicular to the floor.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|