PARIVRTTA TRIKONASANA

The REVOLVED (or rotated) TRIANGLE POSE – which works both Gall Bladder and Liver meridians – would have to be one of the most effective items in the SPRING YOGA toolbox. The full pose offers an exceptional set of combinations: (1) outside leg & hip opening with stabilizing effort up the inside leg; (2) lateral bend & side body opening with full upper body torsion; (3) side body opening with massaging compression through the abdominal cavity; and (4) chest & shoulder release using both rotation and extension through the shoulder girdle.
Many of you, familiar with the pose, will understand immediately what I am talking about. For those who find themselves a little unsure, here’s a “HOW TO”.
[Note: contraindications & cautions for the pose are at the bottom.]
1. Establish your lower body with a wide leg stance: front foot pointing forward and rear foot turned out. To keep the pelvis neutral, facing the front foot (& so get maximum benefit from the spinal rotation with minimum strain on the sacro-iliac) the soles of the feet (particularly the heels) need to be very firmly grounded. You will feel the effort of this up the inside (rear) leg while the outside of the front leg & hip are positioned for opening. Better to adjust the angle &/or placement of the rear foot than compromise on grounding. Activation of the deep core muscles is also crucial to maintaining stability in the pelvic girdle.
2. Always lengthen, up through the spine/neck to the crown of the head, before bending &/or rotating – both of which you are about to do. Place one hand on your forward leg hip and stretch the other hand up beyond your ear to create maximum length in the side body. Maintain your spinal length as you exhale and hinge forward over the front leg to a flat back position. Hold solid in the core and the foot soles.
3. Moving (on exhalation) from the lower lumbar upwards towards the shoulder girdle, rotate the spine. (Remember, this is NOT a hip twist.) Reach out through the fingertips on the outstretched hand to maintain maximum length in the side body, and then change the angle of the arm so that the hand drops towards your front foot / mat. You may wish to use a block.
4. To complete the rotation, feel a line stretching up from the front foot fingertips & open palm, across the front of the chest so that the upper shoulder is pulled back. Extend the upper arm/hand skyward. Keeping the neck long, turn your face upwards. Continue this rotation with your gaze directed towards the upper fingertips.
5. Once in the pose, check that your core and foundation are holding and try to lengthen and rotate further through the spine, extending the lateral opening on the front leg hip and in the sides of the torso.
6. Then try this little experiment: softly reach out through the inside of the ring finger on each hand and allow this movement to rotate the arms slightly so that the shoulder blades drop; then stretch through the back of the middle fingers to lengthen the arms out of the shoulder joint. Gently alternating these two small stretches will do wonders to open both the shoulders and the chest giving more space and capacity for length in the spine.
7. To exit the pose, retreat backwards through steps 5, 4 & 3 so that you are in a flat backed, forward bend but – this time – with both hands on the hips. Hold strongly through the core, legs & feet and keep your spine/neck long as you exhale and bring yourself upright then bring your back foot forward to stand in Tadasana.
Contraindications / Cautions
Perform this pose only under experience, professional supervision OR avoid it altogether if you suffer from:
• Back/spine injury or fragility
• Low blood pressure
• Migraine / headache
• Diarrhea
• Insomnia

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