Monday, 27 May 2013

A Way To Trikonasana: Strong Legs and Free Spine

There are many ways into poses and different ways of doing poses.  Different styles of yoga emphasise different things.

I say this and called this pose 'a way' to trikonasana to highlight that the way I describe here is not a definitive way but simply one that you might like to experiment with and think about in your own practice.

What I hope is that this way will promote a free and fluid spine so if you are 'looking' for anything in this particular variation then 'look' (ie, feel) for that.

At the moment I think of a free spine as almost like a spineless creature blobbing through the water.  Like a jelly fish.  It waves and floats and circles and moves fluidly.

Some of the important things that I will emphasise in order to help this free floating jelly fish blobbing spine are:

  • set the feet
  • adjust the sitting bones
  • allow the back thigh to roll inwards and ensure the front thigh points in the same direction as the shin 
  • soften the ribs
  • press the armpits forward in the direction they face
  • relax the throat and neck


  • I come into trikonasana from a low lunge.  
  • I move my sitting bones down and under, top of the pelvis back.  
  • I push front foot forward, back foot backwards.  My legs get firm and stable.  My spine becomes light and fluid.  
  • I lower my back heel, careful not to lose the actions of the sitting bones. 
  • I scoop the bottom sitting bone further under.  
  • I keep the back thigh rolling in, front thigh rolling out.  
  • I start to straighten my front leg, pushing into the ball of the front foot.  
  • I lift the outer ankle of the front foot.  
  • I keep my pelvis, belly, and chest pointing down for now.  
  • My body is light.  I can breathe freely.  
  • I initiate a twist first from my navel, then my lower ribs, then my chest and shoulders.  
  • I press my armpits in the direction the face--in this case forwards.  
  • I start to straighten my arms but I don't take them back.  I keep pressing the armpits forward.  
  • My neck is free, jaw relaxed. 
  • I breathe into my belly (pushing it out) and then to my chest--lengthening the front of the body without shortening the back.  
  • I adjust my head so there is no tension in my neck.  In this case, I look up, tuck the chin, and move my ear away from the top shoulder.  If this is uncomfortable I reposition.  
  • I breathe.  
  • I relax. 
  • I smile.

Blast From The Past
Just for a bit of added information, here is a video I posted a while ago about the front knee in trikonasana.  It is from my time in Sri Lanka.  It talks about good knee alignment in the pose.

And For The Encore!
And, if you haven't had enough of trikonasana yet, take a look at me practicing a few little tricks with it on my roof in Sri Lanka!

Happy and safe practicing!

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