Parivrtta Trikonasana: Revolved Triangle Pose
This revolved version of Triangle pose, or Parivrtta Trikonasana (par-ee-vrit-tah trik-cone-AHS-anna), is a great counterpose to its expansive sibling, Utthita Trikonasana. While Utthita Trikonasana is fiery yang, Parivrtta Trikonasana is cooler yin, making it a good addition to an evening practice. Stretching your spine and releasing tension in your chest and shoulders is a great antidote to a long work day.
Philosophy + Origin
As the more feminine version of Trikonasana, Parivrtta Trikonasana reminds us that there are always two sides to every coin — the dark to the light, the cold to the hot, the feminine to the masculine, the stillness after the movement. Reflecting on the differences and similarities between the two versions of Triangle pose can help you find balance between two apparent opposites. Although feminine and masculine might seem like night and day, there’s a place in the middle where the two always meet.
- If shoulders are tight or tender, keep the raised hand on your hip rather than extending it straight toward the sky.
- Use a block under your bottom hand to decrease the intensity of the posture.
- Press the forearm of the bottom arm against the shin of the front leg to deepen the twist.
- Keep your gaze down or to the side to prevent straining the neck.
CONTRAINDICATIONS AND CAUTIONS:
- Neck pain or injury
- Lower back or SI joint pain
- Low blood pressure
- Headaches or migraine
If you have difficulty keeping the back heel on the ground while you practice this pose, try positioning it against a wall for leverage. Placing your back heel against the wall can help stabilize this posture, allowing a deeper twist and more freedom in the spine and chest. Difficulty keeping the back heel down in this posture is often a sign of a tight groin muscle. Try warming up your groin with other postures before practicing Parivrtta Trikonasana.
- Begin in Mountain pose at the top end of your mat. Step back with your left foot so your feet are 3 to 4 foot lengths apart. Turn the toes of your left foot at a 45 degree angle; make sure the toes of your right foot are pointed forward and that the kneecap of your right leg aligns with the middle of your right ankle. Adjust your heels so that they are in line with each other.
- Turn your torso toward your right leg, squaring your hips as well as you can without pain or discomfort in your back leg. Keep rooting down through the left heel as you bring your left hip forward to square your hips. Exhale to deepen the twist as you begin to fold forward over your right leg.
- Move your left hand to the floor, either inside or outside the front foot. Keep pressing through the outer right thigh to help move the hip away from the shoulder. Draw your right hand to the hip to support this movement before reaching up with the arm, two arms in one line. If your neck feels comfortable, turn your gaze up to your top thumb. Energize the arms and actively extend away from the center of the body. Most of your weight should be in your back heel and the palm of your front hand.
- Working up to a 60-second hold, exit the pose when you’re ready with an exhalation to untwist and an inhalation to lift your torso back up. Repeat on the other side.
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- Baddha Konasana
- Prasarita Padottanasana
- Supta Virasana
- Utthita Trikonasana
- Ardha Matsyendrasana
- Janu Sirsasana
- Marichyasana II
- Parivrtta = revolved
- Trikona = triangle
- Asana = pose
- Expands chest and shoulders
- Improves mobility of the neck
- Stretches the spine and increases range of motion
- Strengthens and tones the thighs
- Improves constipation and other digestive problems
- Relieves symptoms of asthma
- Soothes and stills the mind
Increases feminine qualities
Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, fortune, and prosperity, can help you channel her power and beauty. To practice, silently repeat “Om shreem maha Lakshmiyei namaha,” meaning, “I bow to the goddess, Lakshmi, whose energy is held within the mantra, Shreem.”
MUDRA: Dhyana Mudra
A great way to de-stress and “cool” the fiery energies, practice the Dhyana mudra by resting the left hand in the palm of the right, touching the tips of the thumbs together. Rest your hands in your lap and sit quietly.
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