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Parivrtta Trikonasana
The Revolved Triangle Pose


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. Asanas in general, and standing poses in particular, bring us back to earth with a firm reminder that transformation is more than wishful thinking: It is a whole body experience that demands you have your feet firmly on the ground.

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose) is a great standing pose in which to find your footing because it includes a spinal twist that can uproot you, like a whirlwind, if you aren’t grounded. It’s best to introduce Parivrtta Trikonasana into your practice after you are fairly adept at Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Trikonasana (Triangle Pose), and Parsvottanasana (Side Stretch Pose). Then you will be more likely to experience the potential of Parivrtta Trikonasana to deepen your roots even as it tests them.

Like all spinal twists, Parvritta Trikonasana provides practical benefits beyond grounding. The spine is the anatomical and energetic core of your body. It consists of a column of vertebrae that enables movement and houses the spinal cord, upon which life itself relies. At the very least, an unhealthy spine can make you miserable; at worst, it leaves the entire body susceptible to disease. Twists help maintain a healthy spine by rotating spinal joints in a way that alternately stretches and relaxes the surrounding muscles as well as squeezing the discs, enabling them to absorb nutrients and remain moist. Twists can also massage the organs of your torso to improve their function and integrate vertebral movement along the whole length of the spine. Because many spinal muscles are small and spinal rotation is relatively limited compared to other body movements, forcing any twist is ill advised. An aggressive approach may strain muscles, damage nerves, and stress joints, especially if they are already prone to injury.

Parivrtta Trikonasana
Revolved Triangle Pose

» Demonstrations

» Intro

» Finding Your Ground

» Releasing the Pelvis

» Testing Your Roots

» Squaring Your Hips

• Tones legs and hips
• Strengthens upper back
• Improves spinal flexibility
• Massages organs and regulates their function
• Nourishes spinal discs

• Back muscle spasms
• Herniated discs
• Sciatica
• Positional vertigo


© 2001 Barbara Benagh
Reprinted from Yoga Journal