Pose of the Month- Trikonasana
Trikonasana is a wonderful pose, taught in beginner classes, advanced classes, and an element in just about every sequence that I have ever taught. The beauty of this pose is that it is ever changing with the yogi’s body, and there is always further and deeper to go with this pose.
As you begin your practice, and begin to gain flexibility, you may feel that your primary goal is to get your hand down on the floor, testing the limits of your hamstrings. I don’t discourage students from working toward this, but I do remind them that after your hand hits the floor, your next step in mastering this pose is to bring your hand off the floor, and reign it in so to speak. This is where the true growth process begins.
Look at these two images of trikonasana below. You can see in the first image that my hand is touching the mat - but at what cost? There is strain and torque on my sacrum, which can cause injury over time. And in truth, I am sort of relaxing into this pose and resting on my palm. I am not using my core at all to hold myself in the pose.
Now look at the second image. My hand is not on the mat. My hips are open, and my sacrum is neutral. This takes away the strain on the sacrum that can be an issue for frequent practioners at risk of overuse injuries. I am also lifting the left side of my body using the oblique muscles, twisting my heart open toward the ceiling, building valuable core strength. You can see that the back leg is active and engaged and my neck is in line with the rest of my spine. As an added core strength challenge in this pose, I could also reach my left arm out toward the front of the mat, parallel to the floor.
I invite you to play with this pose in the mirror at home, to get a sense of where your body is in space. Have fun practicing!