3 Ways to Modify Triangle Pose
Try these fun variations of Triangle Pose to mix up your routine.
The Triangle Pose is a very common asana. In fact, you might practice this pose so much that it has become a little dull and in need of a fresh perspective. Fortunately, there are tons of ways to add some new flair to Triangle Pose, keeping your daily yoga practice fresh and fun. The three variations below are only a small sample of the many ways to play with this pose. In these variations, you will change your base in one way or another. Try them out and breathe new life into the Triangle Pose!
Angular Triangle Pose
First line up the short edge of your mat against a wall. Then step your feet apart, with the back edge of your back foot flush with the back right corner of your mat and the wall and the inside edge of your front foot a few feet forward and flush with the right edge of your mat. The foot at the wall provides a little more stability, as this variation can challenge your sense of balance. Use a block under your bottom arm, straighten your top arm, and gaze up. This variation makes the pose more of a backbend. Observe how your back leg is abducted, or moving away from your centerline, and extended at the hip joint a bit more than it would be in the classic form of the pose. Also observe how much easier it is to turn the neck and head and look upward in this variation. If your neck hurts when doing so, turn your head and look down toward your front foot. Stay in the pose, old here for 30 seconds before switching sides.
Triangle Pose with Your Foot on a Block at a Wall
With your mat in the same position, set up a block on its flattest side, with the short end against the wall. This time your front foot will be at the wall, with your heel on the block and the ball of your foot on the wall. The combination of foot elevation and dorsi-flexion helps reduce the load experienced by the front hip joint, since there is now more weight on the heel of the back leg. This variation also helps position your front femur or thighbone optimally into its hip socket. Use a block again for your bottom arm, to maintain more length in your spine. Your top arm can be taken upward, along with your gaze, as shown, or placed on the wall to assist with spinal rotation and provide an extra point of stability. Hold here for 30 seconds before switching sides.
Triangle Pose with an Upside-Down Chair
Instead of a block, position a chair as pictured against the wall and move into Triangle Pose. The higher your front foot is raised on a support, the more you will feel the weight or grounding of your back heel. Your front hip will feel lighter and it will be easier to revolve your chest and head up toward the ceiling. You can place your hand on the cross bar or the chair, or further down on the leg of the chair. Hold here for about 30 seconds before switching sides. This variation challenges your balance, and that (even in small ways) can be a fun way of re-awakening your awareness, not only in the all-important base of the pose, but in your whole body!
All photography courtesy of Jeff Nelson.