Trikonasana, or triangle pose, is often referred to as the “master posture” of the standing series. By design, this pose is meant to engage every muscle of the body while flushing and toning every organ of the body, thus being a ‘masterfully crafted’ yoga posture. Most importantly, this posture helps to facilitate a stronger working relationship between the heart and the lungs; the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, respectively.
Begin with your feet together, side by side. Breathe your arms overhead and stretch up toward the ceiling. On your exhale, take a big step out with your right foot. Simultaneously, stretch your arms out to the side from the shoulders, parallel to the floor. Be sure you step wide enough…your feet should be almost as wide as your wingspan.
Turn your right foot out to the right, so that your front (right) leg turns out, while your back leg (left) stays parallel. Keep your torso centered and stretching tall while you bend your right leg to a 90 degree angle. In perfect form, your 90 degree bend of the right leg should leave your knee directly in line with it’s supporting ankle.
Support this deep stance by firmly pressing your feet into the ground. Fire up your leg muscles and hold your lower belly tight as you pivot your arms.
Bring your right elbow to touch just inside of your right knee. Stretch your left arm up to the ceiling with focused energy. Your arms will eventually make a straight line, finger-to-finger, perpendicular to the ground.
Turn your chin towards the left shoulder. Fix your gazing point to help focus your energy and hold the pose. Think of engaging your muscles more uniformly. Sit deeper, stretch farther. Breathe deeply as you lengthen your spine in its position.
In your deepest stretch, challenge yourself to open your heart more. Assist this intention by moving the left shoulder back an inch and sweeping the right shoulder forward, allowing the heart to widen and shine.
Change. Slowly reverse yourself back to the center, and begin the left side.
Triangle pose challenges us to bring forth our “warrior” energy. Reminiscent of a “squat,” the legs sustain our body’s weight as we strengthen our reach and extension through the upper body’s position. Essentially this “tug of war” between stability of experience and freedom of expression is at play in every yoga posture. In Triangle, however, our body can really sense these two, seemingly opposite dynamics, and is challenged to find and balance both within the same body, at the same time. It is in the call of this challenge that brings forth the master within all of us.