Parivrtta Trikonasana – How To Do Revolved Triangle Pose and Its Benefits

Parivṛtta Trikoṇāsana: a forward bend, twist and balancing posture.

Parivṛtta – revolved, turned round or back

Trikoṇa – triangle Par

Āsana – pose

 

This āsana is a counter posture to Uttitha Trikonasana but in reality is a much more complex āsana. For new students, this āsana can be challenging as it combines an intense forward bend with a deep twist: the movement of the body in different directions means that the student must develop a sense of balance and a degree of openness in order to be steady in the posture. This āsana is the first twist you will learn in the standing sequence of most yoga school – Hatha yoga, Ashtanga Yoga or Iyengar Yoga. It will teach you about the inner alignment of the hips with relation to the upper body and in relation to the legs and with give you some essential tools to tackle other more advanced āsanas.

Parivrtta Trikonasana

Parivrtta Trikonasana

 

How to do revolved triangle pose (Parivrtta Trikonasana) Also known as  forward bend, twist and balancing yoga posture.

Below is step by step way to perform revolved triangle pose.

  • Stand in samasthiṫi.  Jump out to the right, 3 – 4 feet apart. Make sure that the outer sides of your feet are parallel on the mat.
  • Raise your arms upward so they are in line with your shoulders and parallel to the mat and the palms are facing downwards.  The arms are active, the shoulders are pulled away from the ears. The muscles of the chest are moving upwards, over the shoulders and down the back. The tailbone is tucked so that the buttocks move forward and the pelvic bone tilts upwards.
  • Turn the right foot 90˚outwards and turn the left foot slightly inwards (you will turn it more than you would in Uttihita Trikonasana) The ankle of the right foot should be in line with the arch of the left foot.
  • Turn your hips to face the direction of the right foot.
  • Ensure that you arm are engaged and “windmill” or swivel your arms around, bend forward and reach downwards so that the left hand is placed on the mat on the outside of the right leg (or on the knee, shin or ankle)
  • Your hips should be facing forwards and should be level. There will be tendency for the right hip to move forward and to rise – tuck it down and backwards and push the left hip forward.
  • Once again the arms are strong and engaged with the right fingertips reaching towards the ceiling. Try not to slump into the left hand and lower joints; there should be lightness in your upper body.
  • Look down at the big toe of the right foot, keep the neck long and the shoulders moved away from the ear. Turn the neck upwards and gently gaze at the fingers of the left hand. If you are feeling unbalanced, then keep your gaze on the wall in front of you or on the floor.
  • Hold for five long breathes. With every exhale gently try to twist some more until your shoulders are in line with your right foot.
  • Press into the back foot, engage the lower abdomen and “windmill” the arms upwards to come up. Turn and practice the other side.

 

Tips For Parivrtta Trikonasana

 

  • Strength and stability in the legs will allow you to twist with ease and remain stable in the pose.

–       Rotate the upper thigh of your right leg outwards. Push the right big toe into the ground to ensure the knee is engaged, pointing upwards and is in line with the ankle. Rotate the left thigh inwards and pull the knee caps upwards.

–       There is a tendency to take the weight of the body on the outer edge of the right foot (the big toe might lift) and the inner edge of the left foot (the outer edge will lift off the mat). Push into the right big toe and into the outer edge of the left foot to balance the weight evenly.

Parivrtta Trikonasana Foot Poses

Parivritta -Trikonasana Correct Way

–       If you have the awareness, attempt to draw the legs and hips inwards. This will bring a lot of stability to the pose.

  • As you twist there is a tendency for the hips to lose their alignment – Usually the right hip will pop upwards and the left hip will drop.  It is important that the hips are level; you should feel like you sacrum is flat like a table and that you could balance an object on it. To ensure this:

–       turn the hips forward (before your twist) so that they are facing the same direction as the right foot. If it helps, drop your hands to your pelvic bones to make sure they are facing forward.  It might also help you to lift the back heel off the ground, turn the hips more and then drop the foot again.

–       Push into the outer side of the back foot. This will engage the back hip and stop it from dropping downwards.

–       Pull the right hip backwards and the left hip forwards and then draw them together.

  • As in Utthita Trikonasana, make sure the knees are not locked.

If you feel pain in the back of either of the knees, bend, rotate the thigh outwards and then straighten the knee.

–       Pushing the big toe into the mat will ensure that the knee doesn’t get locked.

–       If you have the awareness, move the front shin bone forwards and the back shin bone backwards. This will ensure that the knees are stable.

  • Even after you have reached the left hand to the floor, you might find that you are unable to twist – your shoulders are not opening and the neck is cramped.  (Ideally you would like your shoulders to be in the same line as the front leg and the chest to be facing the wall behind you.)

–       Try to twist as you are moving downwards and not after your hand is placed in the ground.

–       Come up a little higher on the leg – rest the hand on the shin or knee or on a block. Work with this for a while until you feel that you are able to drop the hand and open the chest and shoulders. Ensure that you are not compromising the twist just so that you can reach the hand to the ground.

–       “Lengthen the spine in a spiraling motion from the sacrum through the top of the head” (Swenson, Ashtanga Yoga:  The Practice Manual) There is a tendency to approach all twists from the waist. Rotate from the sacrum (back) and the lower abdomen (front) first, then the rib cage and finally the shoulders.

 

MODIFICATIONS:

This pose can be challenging for those with tight hips and also for those with limited movement in their ankles and Achilles tendon. If this is the case try these modifications whilst you work your way into the pose:

–       Use a block under the arm reaching to the mat. Placing the hand on the block will give you more stability than placing it on the shin or knee.

–       Practice the asana against a wall.  Standing in a corner, facing one wall. Step the right foot outwards and turn the left foot so that the outer edge is pushed against the wall. Proceed into the āsana and ensure that the back of the legs, the hips and the back of the chest are touching the wall. Try not to fall backwards into the wall but simply use it as an indicator for the correct alignment of the body.

Benefits Of Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)

  • Strengthens and stretches the legs
  • Stretches the hips, hamstring and spine
  • Opens the chest to improve breathing, this helps with the treatment of asthma.
  • Relieves mild back pain
  • Stimulates the abdominal organs and aids with digestive problems.
  • Improves sense of balance

 

Contraindications and Cautions

If you have a present or previous back or spine injury, perform this pose only with the supervision of an experienced teacher or avoid it altogether. Also avoid this pose if you have:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Migraine
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Insomnia

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