Parivrtta Trikonasana

(Revolved Triangle Pose)

Start again with a wide stance, rotating your right foot out 90 degrees and your left foot in about 40 degrees. Turn your hips toward your front foot. The aim is to have the hips turned all the way to the right so the midline of the torso is aligned with the right leg, as it was in Janu Sirsa-sana. Expect some resistance from your left hip and leg.

The fastest way to turn your hips fully to the right is to turn your left foot in more and shorten your stance. However, I don't think that's the most skillful way Instead, recruit the deep abdominal muscles to do the job by shifting your lower belly to the right and pulling your right hip back. That not only keeps your left leg solid, but it also taps support from your core, which establishes the stability that benefits standing poses and twists. Ifyour left hip still hangs back, then turn your left foot in slightly. Don't sacrifice your roots; distribute the weight across the ball of your foot and keep that left heel firmly down.

Place your right hand on your right hip and extend your left arm up alongside your ear. Breathing in, shift your hips toward the rear of your mat and exhale to hinge forward over your leg, pausing halfway. Gaze at your right foot as you shift your lower abdomen and then your ribs to the right to align the midline of your torso with your right leg.

Bring your left fingertips to the floor outside your right toes, keeping the left shoulder in line with the leg. If that's not possible, take the left fingertips to the floor or to a block on the inside of the right foot, keeping your left shoulder in line with your left hand. Continue to look down, keeping your head and gaze in line with your foot to help align the axis of the torso over the right leg.

Pause at this point to train your focus on the base of the pose. Keep your back leg grounded with the heel down. The pelvis is level, the belly is stable, and the breath is steady. Initiate the twist by pressing into your left hand and lifting your chest. Pull your right shoulder up and back to rotate the thoracic spine. Feel how the rotation here is exactly the same mechanical process as in the previous two twists; the pelvis is level and stable, and the shoulders act as the top of the corkscrew that turns the spine.

As the twist winds up, the hips, back leg, and heel must stay grounded to resist being pulled into the turn. Go slowly, allowing for a little give in the hips; take your time and be careful not to force the twist. Let yourself be guided by the somatic memory and actions of the earlier poses. When the pose is steady and you can enjoy the sensations free from the distractions ofyour back leg, Parivrtta Trikonasana will become a pose you look forward to doing.

Power up the twist by extending your right arm up. Make sure your left shoulder stays aligned over your leg or hand, rotate your head, and gaze at your right hand. If kripalu yoga teacher training what does your potential look like?

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