Triangletwist

(parivrtta trikonasana)

Triangle Twist is an advanced pose that provides an intense stretch to your legs and the sides of your body. You can also use this pose to strengthen your legs, increase the flexibility of your hips, relieve tension in your back and improve your balance.

While performing Triangle Twist, make sure you keep your back flat and your spine lengthened. You should also make sure you keep your arms straight. The position of your arms in this pose allows your chest to open more, which can increase your capacity for deep breathing.

If you find Triangle Twist difficult, you may need to place your palm on a block if you cannot reach down to the floor. You may also need to come out of the twist slightly if your knee feels strained.

Always use caution performing this pose if you have a back or spine injury or high blood pressure. You should avoid this pose if you have a headache.

Begin in Mountain Pose. For information on Mountain Pose, see page 120.

Turn your left foot out 45 degrees and press the soles of your feet into the floor.

Exhale as you bend forward from your hips over your right leg, keeping your back flat and your left heel in contact with the floor.

• Make sure both your legs are straight, but your knees are not locked.

Begin in Mountain Pose. For information on Mountain Pose, see page 120.

Step your right foot forward approximately 3 feet.

Turn your left foot out 45 degrees and press the soles of your feet into the floor.

Raise your arms up to shoulder height, with your palms facing down. Your shoulders should be down and relaxed.

Exhale as you bend forward from your hips over your right leg, keeping your back flat and your left heel in contact with the floor.

• Make sure both your legs are straight, but your knees are not locked.

Place your left palm or fingertips on the floor near the inside of your right foot.

How can I modify this pose if I have stiff shoulders?

Instead of stretching your upper arm toward the ceiling, rest your arm on your side. This modification is also useful if your upper arm feels strained or uncomfortable in the pose.

I have neck problems and cannot look up at my raised hand. Can I still perform the pose?

Yes. You can modify the pose by looking straight ahead or down at the floor instead of looking up at your raised hand.

How can I deepen this pose?

To deepen the pose, place your palm or fingertips on the floor on the outside of your foot. This modification provides a more intense twist to your torso and spine.

Stretch your right arm up toward the ceiling. Your arm should be straight, but your elbow should not be locked.

• Your torso should turn to face your right leg.

Turn your head to look up at your right hand.

Press through the crown of your head to lengthen your spine.

10 Hold the pose for 15 to 30 seconds. Then exhale, bring your right arm down and release the twist in your torso. Then return to Mountain Pose.

11 Repeat steps to 10 for your other side.

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