Move into Triangle Pose as a Preparatory Pose for Parivrtta Trikonasana in order to “warm-up” the spine, hamstrings, and calves. Click here for link to instructions for Triangle Pose
To do Parivrtta Trikonasana: Step the feet 3 ½ to 4 feet apart. Turn the right foot straight forward and turn the back foot out to a 45 degree angle. Ideally, in this pose, we have heel to heel alignment, yet that can be quite challenging for some. Option to toe-heel the right, or front foot, out wider to create a “wider-stance” similar to the appearance of train tracks rather than walking on a tight-rope.
Bring the palms to the hips and take a deep inhalation and a long and smooth exhalation to prepare. Take another inhale breath, and on an exhale fold forward with a flat back, extending through the spine. Drop the left hand to the inside or outside of the right foot, option to use a block for support. (Dropping the hand to the outside of the front foot is more challenging). The right hand can stay on the hip or reach the right hand up towards the sky.
Press down through the base of the front big toe, while grounding through both heels and lifting through the inner arches of both feet. Work to maintain balance in the hips, level, or “squared” towards the ground. Draw the right hip back and “pin” the left hip “in” towards the mid-line of the body. On an inhale breath, draw the heart space and crown of the head forward, and on an exhale breath, twist the torso, the right and left side of the rib-cage open towards the right.
The gaze can be down at the ground, towards the right side of the room, or up towards the sky. If the neck feels strained while looking up, keep the gaze down or towards the right-side of the room.
Feel the opening in the right shoulder and notice the expansion between the area in-between the collarbones and in the “heart-space”. Stay here and breathe for 3-5 full, inhales and exhales. Repeat the pose on the opposite side.
Notice how you feel after focusing on alignment, breath, and on the subtle energy body.
While the feet create an “anchor” to find stability in the pose, we can bring this quality into our day-to-day lives. We can focus on spending more time doing activities that encourage stress release, creating more balance, and being present. Yoga can be one of these “grounding” or anchoring activities.
Check with your doctor before performing any form of exercise including yoga. Always honor your body. If a posture gives you pain, gently come out.
Christi Iacono, owner of In Rhythms Yoga