This is one of the hardest standing yoga poses. The good news is that we can initially make it easier and then gradually and patiently work towards refining it.
Why is Revolved Triangle difficult to hold?
💡 Most people have a hard time holding this pose grounded and stable, particularly when trying to create a strong connection between the foot in the back of the mat and the ground underneath it.
🧐 What and where is the challenge of actively and firmly pressing the back foot downward?
💡 It could be challenging to create support and movement from the hand which is used to press down against a block or ground.
🧐 What is the relationship between that hand and the surface underneath it? Is there a clear intention of creating a base for movement or are you simply placing it where it is.
💡 Aligning the hip forward can be a challenge for those who wish to refine the pose. We also want to be mindful of the lower back and allow for the hip to turn in the direction of the twist if needed.
🧐 What and where is the challenge of moving our outer thigh (of the front leg) backwards?
Here are some tips on how to move effectively towards a full expression of Paravritta Trikonasana:
⭐ Build the right foundation in Parsvotanasana
Take your time to place the feet in a way that feels grounded and stable - front foot facing straight forward, back foot in the right angle and position. It may take some trial and error to discover the right position.
Keep one hand on each side of the front foot, recommended to use two blocks until flexibility at the back of the legs are sufficient!
Create a sense of stability by pressing both feet actively downward and feeling the resistance of the floor. Try to lengthen the tailbone back and also slightly down. Slowly and gradually start to turn the chest outward in the direction of the front leg, creating sensations of a mini-twist.
Use that position to assess your front leg situation, if you are having a hard time to keep it straight consider bending the knee the right amount.
⭐ Use the help of a yoga block
Place a block close to the inner part of the front foot and firmly place your hand on top of it.
The block has 3 settings, choose the setting that offers the best support so that you don't compromise being stable and grounded and also don't go into too much of a stretch at the back of the front leg.
⭐ Use the other hand as a tool to align the hip
With one hand on the block use the other hand to push the waste on the opposite side back a bit, at the same time start turning the center of the chest sideways and upwards in the direction of the twist.
Find the right amount of twisting along the spine that allows you to keep the feet grounded and the body steady.
Look down towards the floor if you feel difficulties to stay grounded.
Make sure the breath is moving freely.
⭐ Reach the hand up and maybe gaze towards the fingers
Take the hand from the waste and reach upward to arrive at the full expression of the pose.
If balance is not an issue you can turn the gaze up as well, making sure the neck is not feeling pressure.
⭐ Move the supporting hand to the outer side of the front foot
Continue using a block, this time on the outer side of the front foot.
this will take you deeper into the twist, make sure it doesn't create tension at the hip, lower back, front leg or breathing process.
⭐ Remove the block when the time is right
Only when you're able to push the hand flat and firm towards the ground you can remove the block and hold the pose without it.
The pose should feel stable, grounded, spacious and allow for a free flow of breath, just like any other yoga pose :)
Important side note!
Skipping steps and attempting to do the pose right away without the assistance of blocks will lead you to developing patterns that later on may be restrictive or even cause some pain or discomfort. The right approach for any yoga posture or movement is what is called in the yoga tradition "Vinyasa Krama" which in this context refers to an intelligent step by step progression that leads us in a certain direction but at the same time keeps our focus on present experience at every step, expanding our awareness and developing useful patterns that will continue to serve us well in future steps. That is how yoga becomes a real life changing practice.
You can embark on further investigation of these poses and more in any of the weekly classes or join the Masterclass for a more in-depth overview. Sign up here!