Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Posture Discussion Part IX - Triangle

Everybody’s favorite, Triangle pose! You’ll often hear teachers say it’s the most important posture in the standing series, and it’s very true. If you think about it, it does everything – stretching, strength, balance and you even get a spine twist in there if you do it correctly.

To give you an idea how much there is to this posture and how much there is to work on, one of our best teachers told me recently that the only thing I was doing right in the posture was touching my toes! And she was only partially kidding. Here’s a few observations from my experience and corrections I’ve had.

1) Try not to sit out this posture! It’s way too common for people to sit out one or both sets. I never advise sitting anything out, but if you must, choose another posture besides this one, it’s way too important.

2) The set-up makes or breaks this posture. Listen closely to the dialogue. Hopefully your studio has lines on the carpet so you can properly align your heels. When bending your leg down, really try to get to a 90 degree angle like the dialogue says. Believe it or not, it’s actually easier when you do this. The posture becomes unnecessarily difficult if your leg is bent at something like a 75 degree angle. And yes, it will hurt until your hips open up enough.

3) When you get around to flipping your arms, again pay close attention to the dialogue and try not to collapse over sideways. Try to look like the picture above, and yes I know it’s hard!

This posture takes a lot of persistence and paying attention to the dialogue. I would highly recommend getting with teachers before and after class to take a look at it. I’ve literally done it thousands of times and I still have plenty to work on.

Next up (after some other posts)… Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose.



  1. One of my instructors gives a killer dialogue on this one. It really comes down to proper distance between feet (somewhat relative to our body proportions) - which can change the more it is practiced, exaggerated pigeon-toeing, and emphasis on the heel, not the entire foot (right foot/right side, left foot/left side). What usually floors me is too SMALL of step, and/or very little heel. Bigger the step, for me, the easier is to get right onto the heel. I learn to just go in confidently, because once I'm in, the emphasized heel is glued down. Therefore, it's all in the entrance.

    Definitely important to get the arms in correct alignment, head in correct alignment, and BREATHE with the belly sucked IN. Keeping the belly in on the appropriate postures (there are many) made a huge difference for me, and allowed me to get through all of the postures. It makes the body lighter, engaging the upper chest, something that can make or break a posture. Anything with "inhale the arms up" means "keep the belly sucked in".

    Thanks for sharing, as always, bro. :)


  2. Good points Jacob! I always get corrected on sucking in my stomach! And I have to take a BIG step to do the posture correctly.