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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

Triangle Pose: Finding Equanimity in Life

by Ilona Moore

When you first start practicing Trikonasana, or Triangle Pose, you may feel unstable because you have to balance your body sideways, which requires engaging several muscles throughout the whole body. It is important to keep engaging those muscles as opposed to relaxing into them, to avoid putting a strain on your joints. Think about gently lifting the quadriceps away from the kneecaps and firmly pressing the mound of the front big toe and the outside of your back foot into the ground.

When you first start practicing this pose, it’s helpful to have your back against a wall for support as well as a point of reference so that your body doesn’t tip forward but rather stays over the front leg.

As with anything in life, the only constant is change. And so it is with any yoga pose—it will change with time, it will grow with your body and it will fluctuate depending on the time of the day and the progress of your practice. At the same time, the more you practice, the more you become aware of your body and your breath. And the more you learn how to marry your body and breath in the invisible dance of a yoga flow, the more equanimity you will find in your life off of the yoga mat.

Step-by-step guidance

See images with captions above.

1. Stand about 4 inches away from the wall with your back to the wall. With your feet leg-length apart, turn your right foot out, parallel to the wall. Bring your left heel to the wall, with your back foot angled slightly in.

2. Extend your arms out parallel to the floor. Reach out over your right leg as you cut your hips back in the opposite direction, extending your torso to the right and elongating your spine.

3. Extend your torso over your front leg as far as you can while maintaining light contact of your shoulder blades and buttocks with the wall. Then release your right hand to your shin, ankle or floor for support, and lift your left arm up.

Additional guidance:

  • Spread your toes and draw the muscles of your thighs up toward the hips for stability.
  • Expand the left side of your body by pressing your left hip point away from your chest and opening your torso up toward the sky. Deepen the crease in your right hip for more extension of the right side.
  • Use the wall for support, aligning your torso with your front leg, as you extend your arms. Gently press the back of your top hand into the wall.
  • Keep your head and neck aligned with your spine, gazing up at your top hand. If your neck is stiff, gaze at a spot on the opposite wall or down at your front foot.
  • Repeat on the other side.
Ilona Moore is director of Peachtree Yoga Center. Contact her at [email protected]

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