Refine Your Triangle Pose (And Deepen Your Yoga Practice) With These Four Tips

Triangle pose stretches the legs, reduces pain in the low back, removes stiffness in the hips, opens the chest and lungs, and builds strength and freedom in the neck.

These amazing benefits should be enough motivation to incorporate this standing pose into your daily practice. But if you need more inspiration, think of Triangle as a gateway pose —one that helps you access more challenging postures.

Check out the gallery below to see some of the deeper yoga poses that will benefit from a refined Trikonasana practice.

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Here are four ways to refine your Triangle pose and prep yourself for some deeper postures to come. 

1. Activate Your Legs

Flexibility in any yoga pose doesn’t come from passively waiting for muscles to let go. Engagement of the muscles while you hold the pose signals the nervous system that it’s safe to relax. Activating your legs also builds overall strength and stamina, which you’ll need for those deeper poses.

  • Line up your front heel with the center of the arch on your back foot.
  • Straighten both legs, then tip your torso to the side.
  • Place your bottom hand on a yoga block or the ground.
  • Now, squeeze your feet, gently and firmly, towards one another.
  • Hold this action the entire time you’re in the posture —from one to three minutes.

Trikonasana (aka Triangle pose) on a rock :: Bishop, CA

2. Activate Your Legs (Again)

Two common misalignments in Triangle pose are to:

  1. hyper-extend the knees
  2. not straighten the front leg enough

Try activating your legs again to remedy these tendencies. This time, do it by lifting the ball of your front foot off the ground. The following actions build support for both knee and hip joints.

  • Once you’re in Trikonasana, look down at your front leg.
  • Lift the ball of your front foot so your weight rocks onto your heel.
  • Notice how the muscles of your leg are working more powerfully and, perhaps, you feel your thigh bone move deeper into your pelvis.
  • Memorize the way it feels to have your leg activated and integrated.
  • Keep that work as you stretch out through your foot and put it back on the ground.

DSC_01073. Brace Forearm Against Leg

Whether your bottom hand is on a block or the floor, move it so your wrist is in contact with your outer shin.

When you press arm into leg, you get more power for two key actions. They are to:

  1. root down through the mound of your big toe
  2. roll your bottom shoulder back to open your chest

The first brings more awareness, power and stability to your front leg.

The second helps you activate your upper back, align your shoulder and free the lungs.

  • Sweep your bottom arm into your outer leg.
  • Push more weight down into the big toe edge of your front foot.
  • Roll your shoulder back, and rotate it externally (away from your leg).
  • Lift your chest towards your chin.
  • Turn your belly towards the sky.


4. Wrap Your Top Arm

This is a great way to adjust yourself in Triangle pose. With your top arm wrapped around your back, you can press into the top of your front thigh. Not only does this align and stretch your thigh area, it can help you make more length in your torso. Try it like this:

  • Wrap your top arm around your back and grab the top of your front thigh (pinky near hip crease).
  • Push strongly into your leg to move your thigh away from your head.
  • Use the leverage of pushing against your thigh to lengthen your torso.
  • Keep the length, roll your shoulder back and turn your chest towards the sky.

Trikonasana : Alabama Hills, CA