Trikonasana or Triangle pose is an excellent asana to strengthen the legs, open the hips and the shoulders. You start with grounding your feet into the mat, place your right straight ahead and bring your left foot about a meter back allowing the foot to point forwards. The alignment of your feet are very important as they set the foundation for any standing poses, they should line up so that they are in the same plane “the heel of the front foot bisects the arch of the back foot” is a common instruction for this positioning.
These Yoga Asanas Stretch Your Hips & Shoulders Length
Keep both legs straight, engaging by the quadriceps as though you are trying to pull the knee cap into the thigh. Start moving your hips to the left as you fold along your right leg. Spread your arms to walk your right hand anywhere along the right leg and you point your left arm to the ceiling looking up at your left hand.
With the legs strong the movement of the side sway heightens the lateral stretch of the IT band and helps to open the hip flexors, those muscles than tighten from long hours of sitting in front of the computer. The legs bear the weight of this pose so the chest and shoulders are free to expand and broaden, helping to eradicate any forward slouch. Looking up also strengthens the neck and you are using the intrinsic muscles of the neck to hold the head up, against gravity.
Make sure you hold the pose on the opposite site, taking a few extra breaths on the side that feels tighter. The major alignment here is not how far the arms can reach along the leg but to keep both hip bones in the same line. Often one will move in front of the other causing the pelvis to tilt, feel free to do this pose with your back to a wall to ensure your hips stay in the same line and you get the most benefit from this yoga pose.
To learn more about triangle pose or basic postures, our beginner’s yoga program is geared to take you through each pose step by step so you are confident to practice them, wherever you are and whenever you have some time!