The Revolved Triangle Pose
by Barbara Benagh
One of my first yoga teachers, a wonderful Englishwoman named Penny Nield-Smith, was a real stickler for standing poses; we practiced them endlessly. I would look at yoga books and see pictures of headstands, backbends, arm balances, exotic stuff, but when I went to class it was, you guessed it, more standing poses. She would admonish me for being in such a hurry to stand on my head when, in her view, I couldn’t yet stand on my feet. Her practical guidance helped me realize the value of establishing a strong foundation in a hatha yoga practice–in other words, of being grounded. Yoga evolved from the human urge for self-transcendence, so it’s understandable that practitioners might from time to time indulge in heady dreams of perpetual bliss. continued »
|Parivrtta Prasarita Padotanasana Prep
Stand with your feet 3-4 feet apart and parallel with each other. As you exhale, bend forward to place your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders. Keep your arms straight and your head at shoulder level. Next, place your right hand on your sacrum and center the left hand under your chest. Don’t round your back to reach the floor: If necessary, use a block under your hands or bend your knees. Keep you hips as level as possible without making them rigid. Press your left hand into the floor and let the upward rebound from that action provide the spinal twist.
|Parivrtta Prasarita Padotanasana
Continuing from Exercise #1, exhale to slowly extend the upper arm to vertical. Keep your hips as level as possible to isolate the twist in the upper spine. Relax the muscles around the spine so it rotates as your arms stretch and then turn your head in the direction of the twist. Breathe steadily, making sure each exhalation is complete. When you’re ready, come up and repeat Exercise 1 and 2, this time twisting to your left. on the other side.
|Squaring the Hips
Stand with your feet 3-4 feet apart and parallel. Turn your left foot slightly toward the center and turn your right leg out 90 degrees. With your hands on your hips, turn to the right until your hips are side by side. If they are not square, roll your abdomen into our right hip and draw the hip back firmly, taking care to keep your left heel well grounded.
|Parivrtta Trikonasana Prep
Proceeding from Exercise #3, keep your hips level, lengthen your torso forward over your right leg, and place your left fingers on the floor beside the right big toe. If you can’t place your fingers on the floor while keeping our torso long and your chest open, either bend your right knee slightly or place your hand on your leg or a block. Don’t turn to look up yet; instead, keep your head facing forward. Stay in the pose for several breaths before moving on to the final pose.
As flexibility in your right hip increases, you may be able to place your left hand on the little toe side of your right foot. As you exhale, extend your right arm up, press the left hand into the floor, and let the arm action and the rhythm of your breath create a clockwise rotation of your spine. Finally, turn your head to the right, feeling how that action deepens the twist along the whole length of the spine. Keep your eyes relaxed and maintain a steady breathing rhythm. Refine the pose for several breaths before returning to standing and repeating the last three exercises on the other side.
• Tones legs and hips
• Strengthens upper back
• Improves spinal flexibility
• Massages organs and regulates their function
• Nourishes spinal discs
• Back muscle spasms
• Herniated discs
• Positional vertigo