January can be hard to digest. It can feel like the hangover from December. What if I could say that yoga and meditation in bite-size chunks could lift the weight of a stressful day? Yep, Triangle pose offers a sideways-thinking antidote to one of the busiest months of the year.
Triangle, this lateral-stretching gem of a pose, offers more than just a pretty shape. To understand what I mean you need to feel it and to feel it you need to do it.
* Remember like with all forms of exercise please consult your doctor before trying and exercise at your own risk.
Having first warmed up one can do this pose on its own or with other poses.
- As a beginner, I feel the best way to get the alignment is to use the edge of the mat as your guide. So from the front of the mat, step the left leg back and turn the back foot in so it is slightly turned in but in line with the back of the mat as in the picture below. Front foot points forward. Please don’t lock the knees as this can damage them. Now, are you remembering breathing deeply but slowly? Great! Keep it up.
- Next, you want to feel grounded in all four corners of the feet. I find lifting the quads helps too in this pose. Now I am going to let you into a little secret: you do not need to get the hand to the floor. Yep, sometimes you can get more out of this by not going so far. The reason being is this pose also works the core, so if you are collapsing forward out of a stubborn belief that you must get all the way to the ground, then you are missing the point. Put it this way if your body doesn’t have the space to reach the floor yet without having to sacrifice the integrity of the pose, then indeed you aren’t genuinely embodying Triangle. Think of Triangle as lateral stretch with grounded controlled but flowing capability.
- Keeping the torso long and also the knees facing the same direction as the hips, imagine you are like a teapot filled with joy. As you move to the side, you pour love out into the world. So as you lean over to the right, you, in turn, bring the right hand either to the thigh, calf, yoga block, or the floor. Work with your body!
- Remembering the back leg, raise the left arm up to the ceiling. If you are feeling a bit fizzy, then keep looking down. If however, you are feeling in need of a lift then look up towards the hand. Make sure you don’t get lazy in the sides of the body. A firm but gentle lateral stretch can help us to learn how to implement a sideways-thinking way of dealing with perceived problems.
- Hold for three to five breaths before coming out with as much control as you went into the pose. Change sides. Repeat a few times if you have the time and desire to do so.
Go deeper and reflect
- Think of a time (as you do the pose) when things didn’t at first go your way. It can be any problem big or small.
- Next, as you change sides think of how you then laterally overcome the obstacle and what side-ways-thinking methods you use to achieve this. Don’t worry if you need more time to think; you can always come out of the pose.
- Once you know the answer, it is worth repeating the pose again on both sides.
- The point of this is to show you that you are stronger than you think and that everything may not always go your way, but there have been times when a change in mindset has brought the results you have wanted. You may not feel this sometimes, but positive self- reflection in yoga can help highlight hidden strengths. Learn to see the cup as half full instead of empty.
Remember: You don’t have to do hours of yoga a day to get benefits. A little bit often can manifest significant change.
Triangle pose is very grounding and can help to clear stubborn patterns both mentally, emotionally and physically.
Try it, let me know how you get on.
(The Word Sprite)
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Love Janey Bowyer
(The Word Sprite)