Hey Guys! You made it to Thursday! My week has been a little funky thanks to the massive transformer fire and subsequent power outage in Boston Tuesday night and yesterday. No morning run on Wednesday, no shower in the morning, no coffee, and all my food spoiled thanks to no power for almost 24 hours. Talk about fun times! I will say though, Bostonian’s handled the whole situation pretty well. I was impressed. They even tamed their driving to keep it safe with no traffic lights! The power was restored last night and I’m hoping today is a normal day!
Today I want to talk about one of my favorite yoga poses (I think I say that about every pose, I really do love them all), Parivrtta Trikonasana! In English, this is revolved triangle pose. Parivrtta means to turn around or revolve and trikona means triangle.
I like this pose because it feels like heaven to the outside of my hip, my hamstring and my lower back. All things that are tight as a result of running! This pose targets far more than just my hip and hamstring though. It targets all of these body parts:
- Lower Back
Since your stretching so many body parts at once this pose is full of healthy benefits for your body. It strengthens and stretches your legs, hips and spine. Simultaneously it can also relieve low back pain. The twist aspect of the pose can help to open your chest and heart and can improve breathing. The twist will also put pressure on and simulate your abdominal organs. And like most standing twists it will help improve your balance. Pretty good, right?
Therapeutically this pose is used to relive low back pain and sciatica issues. The twist and stretch really does a great job of stretching that low back. The pose can also be used to relieve constipation and digestive problems due to the pressure it places on your abdominal area. The chest opening aspect of the pose can help alleviate breathing issues like asthma.
Those with back and spine injuries should avoid the pose though as it can do more damage than good. You should also avoid the pose if you have diarrhea, putting added pressure on your tummy area just won’t help that! The pose also is not recommended for those with headache or migraines or low blood pressure. Your head is often lower than your heart in this position so it certainly won’t help to alleviate those symptoms.
So how do you enter into the pose? I like to enter this pose after first holding Triangle or Trikonasana. Revolved Triangle is the counter-pose to Triangle so they work well together! Here’s the sequence I usually follow:
- Start in down-dog. I like to pedal my feet and stretch my calves and the back of my legs first.
- Step your right foot through and come into Warrior 1. Hold for 3 breaths.
- Open your chest, arms and hips into Warrior 2. Hold again for 3 breaths.
- Straighten your front leg and pull your hips back so you get a full extension in your front leg and slowly bring your right arm to your shin, ankle or inside of your right foot. Straighten your left arm to the sky. Open your chest towards the ceiling. Gaze to the wall in front of you or to the sky, which ever is more comfortable. Your now in Triangle pose. Hold for 3 breaths.
- From Triangle lift your right arm, and rotate your torso so your chest faces the floor. Continue to rotate so your chest will begin to face your right leg. Bring your left hand to your shin, ankle or the floor and lift your right arm to the sky. Think about “pulling” your right hip back so you try to square your hips. Hold the pose for 3 breaths.
- To come out, rotate your torso so your chest faces the floor again. Bring your hands to the floor. Slowly bend over your right leg for an added hamstring stretch.
- Come back through to down-dog and repeat on the left side.
The pose is perfect for the use of props! You can use them to provide lift for your arms if coming to your shin or the floor is too deep of a stretch. The pose can also be modified by bringing your back foot in and having a shorter stance. This is perfect for those who have a tight back leg and can’t bring the back heel to the floor. To deepen the pose bring your bottom hand to the outside of the front shin and use your forearm to press in to the leg. This will allow you to twist deeper into the pose and get a deeper stretch. The pose is very versatile and can be done alone and worked into almost any sequence!
I find the pose feels great to runners and can really target those problem areas of the hips and low backs. I really recommend this to runners looking to add some yoga poses to their post run stretching routine.