Guest Author - Tracy Webb
Trikonasan is a firm favorite of many due to the numerous benefits received through the deep stretches involved. This posture takes Ardhchandrasan, The Crescent Moon posture, a step further by increasing the stretch, and strengthening the spine.
Trikon means triangle in Sanskrit. Since the posture resembles a triangle it was named, Trikonasan. It is important when performing the posture that you stay straight, and don’t lean across the body. As a beginner, it doesn’t matter whether you reach the floor with your hand or not although, that is the ultimate aim of the posture.
As with all yoga asana the most important factor is the breath, it must be natural, and not held in unless a posture dictates it so. The more in tune with the breath you are the more the body will yield to each posture, and flexibility will increase naturally without strain.
Practicing Trikonasan regularly helps to strengthen the spine, and adjoining muscles. Thereby increasing flexibility, and reducing the possibility of injury. Due to the position being held, the feet, hands, back, and neck are also strengthened. It provides a great all over stretch, assists with increasing lung capacity, and improving asthma.
While having an overall strengthening affect on the muscles, this posture is also useful for reducing excess fat that has accumulated around them, and the abdominal region. Due to the pressure placed on the digestive organs, Trikonasan is also helpful for constipation, and weight loss. Other organs benefited by this posture include, the liver, kidneys, and pancreas.
• Stand tall with feet wide apart. Center yourself and become aware of your breath.
• When ready, on an in breath, raise the right hand up keeping it close to the right ear at all times throughout the posture.
• Hold it there while you breathe naturally.
• On the next inhalation, stretch the hand up as far as you can and start to move across the left side.
• As you exhale, stretch the left hand slowly down to the floor (or as near as you can reach).
• Try to aim for touching the floor with the left hand. Do not force it and do not hold your breath.
• If you feel pain, pulsating or shaking stop for a minute and breathe into the posture.
• If you feel able to, lift out more from the waist and increase the stretch.
• Don’t go further than you can comfortably manage and maintain natural breath throughout.
• On an inhalation, slowly come up to the original position.
• Lower the right arm and relax.
• Repeat on the other side.
• Stand for a short while once you’ve completed the posture to gain balance and composure.
Trikonasana can also be performed in other ways and can be simplified while building stamina and strength.
• Stand tall with feet wide apart.
• Turn the left foot to a 90 degree angle while keeping right foot facing forward.
• Stretch both arms out straight at shoulder height.
• On an inhale stretch up and out of the waist and stretch to the left trying to get your left hand on the floor.
• Don’t tense the neck and shoulders. You should feel a stretch in the legs and abdomen.
• To simplify the posture you can bend the left leg until the hand reaches the floor.
• The right arm should be rolled back to open the chest and straight up towards the ceiling. Your head should be facing upwards looking at your hand.
• Hold the posture for a few breaths.
• To come out of the posture, on an inhalation bring your face towards the front and slowly come up to center.
• Repeat on the other side.
It doesn’t matter how long a posture takes you to do, it’s the quality of attention, and conscious effort that makes the difference. It is acceptable to practice for an hour, and only achieve five or six postures. By taking time, and doing the postures consciously the benefits will be far superior than performing fifteen or more quickly, and unconsciously.
For further support with your postures, I recommend The Yoga Bible book, available at Amazon.