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Parivrtta Trikonasana Revolved Triangle Pose Yoga Journal October 2001 Benefits Tones legs and hips Strengthens

upper back !proves spinal fle"ibilit# $assages organs and regulates their function %ourishes spinal discs &ontraindications Back !uscle spas!s 'erniated discs Sciatica Positional vertigo 1( )s a #oga teacher* +hen sa#* ,Root #our feet- or ,Be grounded in #our legs*- a! asking #ou to find the sensation of connection to the earth( 2( .ift #our toes( /( Separate the! 0ust as #ou +ould #our fingers1 #ou can even si!ultaneousl# spread #our fingers to guide #ou to the right sensation( )t the sa!e ti!e* tr# to +iden the ball 2!etatarsal3 0oints of #our feet( 4( 5ven if #our toes see! stiff* #ou +ill probabl# see and feel that b# lifting the! #ou engage the !uscles that support the arches of #our feet( 6( Standing on tiptoe is another good e"ercise for strengthening #our feet( 7( 8hile #our toes are lifted and separated* plant #our +eight so that it falls evenl# on both feet( 9( Then* on each foot* root #our +eight e:uall# bet+een the ball 0oint of the big toe* the ball 0oint of the little toe* and the center of the heel( ;istributing #our +eight in this +a# helps support the arch and establishes a broad* balanced link to gravit# that influences #our +hole bod#( <( To enhance this connection* i!agine roots gro+ing do+n #our legs* out through each of these si" points and deep into the earth( =( .a# #our toes back do+n* tr#ing to retain the liveliness in #our feet* and continue to ground #our feet +ith each e"halation( 10( You !a# notice a !ove!ent rebounding up through #our legs* creating buo#anc# and a sense of space +ithin #our ankles and knees and continuing up to lift the pelvis and the torso( Releasing the Pelvis 1( %e"t turn #our attention to the position of #our pelvis( The pelvis acts as a hinge bet+een the legs and torso( 'olding the +eight of the torso in its basin* the pelvis also helps protect the spine b# absorbing shock fro! the legs( f pelvic !ove!ent is restricted* #ou lose that buo#anc#* placing stress on #our 0oints and under!ining support for #our torso( 2( Tension in the abdo!inal !uscles can e"acerbate rigidit# in the pelvic region( To counteract this tension* place #our hands on #our hips* breathe :uietl#* and allo+ each e"halation to help rela" #our abdo!en until the interior of the pelvis see!s li:uid( Then e"plore the place!ent of #our pelvis b# gentl# rotating it for+ard* back+ard* and side to side1 i!agine the li:uid shifting +ith

each action* like oil in a bo+l* until it feels level( 8ith the pelvis in this neutral position* #ou +ill be able to stand tall +ith out being rigid( n fact* #our pelvis +ill float lightl# and co!fortabl#* rooted in the legs and feet( 8hen #our pelvis is free* the spine is far !ore likel# to be pliable and light* especiall# as #our internal strength continues to gro+( To add strength in the base of the spine and pelvis* !ove #our tailbone to+ard the floor as if a +eight +ere attached to the cocc#" 2tailbone3( This action is subtler than tucking #our pelvis1 it>s !ore a letting go than an action( Though the pri!ar# sensation is one of release* #ou +ill begin to feel a response in the interior of the back pelvis as abdo!inal !uscles engage and stabili?e the lo+er spine( Secure no+ in a grounded base* #our upper bod# +ill instinctivel# begin to let go of chronic holding patterns( You can speed the process along b# gentl# !oving the spine* +hich is :uite pliable( To do this* first spend a !inute feeling the rh#th! of #our breath1 then deliberatel# direct that pulse into #our spinal !uscles( &an #ou feel the !assage@ Araduall# #our spine +ill feel lighter* as though it is gro+ing fro! #our pelvis like a vine( Arounding #our legs and pelvis so #our spine can e!erge up+ard +ith suppleness instead of rigidit# is crucial as #ou begin to e"plore standing t+ists( Testing Your Roots 1( 8e>ll begin +ith a revolved version of Prasarita Padottanasana 28ideB.egged Standing Cor+ard Bend3( 2( Because the spine is attached to the pelvis* an# spinal rotation that is restricted or forced can shake #our foundation( /( n this first t+ist* the pelvis +ill be s#!!etrical( This position provides a so!e+hat si!pler relationship bet+een the pelvis and the lu!bar spine than do poses that re:uire an as#!!etrical pelvic align!ent( 8ith a s#!!etrical pelvis* #ou can !ore easil# feel the effect of the spinal t+ist on #our roots* gaining insight that +ill help #ou guide the t+ist !ore directl# into the spine and carr# over into #our practice of less stable standing t+ists like Parivrtta Trikonasana( 4( Take a !o!ent to re!ind #ourself of all our preparator# +orkD a( active feet* b( buo#ant 0oints* c( floating pelvis* d( grounded tail( 6( %o+* standing +ith legs +ide apart* feet parallel* and +ith #our spine light and fluid* inhale as #ou begin to rotate #our pelvis for+ard and e"hale to continue bending for+ard until #ou lightl# place #our hands on the floor( 7( Eeep #our ar!s straight +ith #our +rists in line +ith #our shoulders and #our head at shoulder level( 9( f #our hips are too tight to place #our pal!s on the floor* it>s fine to be on fingertips* bend #our knees slightl#* or use blocks under #our hands( <( %o+ check #our roots( )re #ou still grounded through #our legs* or has #our +eight fallen onto #our hands@ f so* take a !o!ent to reBestablish #our foundation b# sending !ove!ent fro! the pelvis into #our legs and feet( ;rop #our tailbone to engage the !uscles in the inner back pelvis that stabili?e and support the lu!bar spine( Re!e!ber the !ove!ent is not a pelvic tuck1 in fact* #ou should feel as though the +hole pelvis is lifting a+a# fro! #our legs even as #our cocc#" is dra+ing gentl# do+n( 5!phasi?e this do+n+ard

!ove!ent +ith both #our e"halation and the slight pause that follo+s it( ;uring the pause* consciousl# release #our abdo!en1 #ou !a# feel it spontaneousl# lift into the front of #our sacru! and lu!bar spine( Rel# upon that strength and support* reinforced b# #our e"halation* to feed length into #our spine so that #ou feel it gro+ to+ard #our skull( 8hen #our spine gro+s to+ard the skull +ith support at its base* the upper bod# beco!es light and spacious* ripe for the deeper !ove!ent of a spinal t+ist( =( $ove #our left hand to the right* centering it under #our torso( Aentl# place #our right hand on #our sacru!* pal! do+n if possible( This hand gives #ou tangible feedback on the position of #our pelvis* helping #ou keep #our hips level( The !ore level #our pelvis* the !ore the t+ist +ill target the spine so it receives the greatest benefit( 10( 'o+ever* be careful not to !ake #our pelvis rigid* gripping the !uscles too tightl# can irritate #our lo+er back( 11( n this position* tune in to the stead# rh#th! of #our breath and the cal! environ!ent of #our bell#( )s #ou e"hale* press #our left ar! and hand into the floor* feeling #our torso rebound up+ard in response( Corgo the urge to turn #our chest further than it is carried b# action of the left ar!( 12( 8hile turning the chest is not necessaril# +rong* leading +ith that action can hide and even di!inish trul# deep !ove!ent of the spine( 1/( Observe in #ourself an# resistance #ou have to this last instruction( t !a# not have occurred to #ou to hang back( )fter all* +hen #ou look at a photo or de!onstration of an asana* +hat #ou usuall# see is the !a"i!u! e"pression of the pose( 8hat a photograph cannot reveal is the internal and often length# process that guided the pose to full flo+er( t is understandable that #ou !ight si!pl# tr# to !i!ic +hat #ou see( nstead* go inside* even close #our e#es* and let this t+ist be a discover#( 14( You have alread# spent so!e ti!e !aking #our spine consciousl# pliable and adaptable1 no+ tr# to feel the e!ergence of the t+ist as #our spine rotates slightl# each ti!e #ou e"hale and press #our right ar! to the floor( 16( )s #ou inhale* begin to raise #our right ar! and turn #our head to the right( Fse #our e"halation to full# e"tend #our ar!* feeling the rotation deepen( &ontinue to e"plore the +a# #our breath>s rh#th! resonates through #our spine* helping to a+aken core sensitivit# and !ove!ent( 8ith each inhalation* rela" a+a# fro! the edge of #our !ove!ent1 +ith each e"halation* e"tend #our ar!s farther* letting their action turn the spine( 17( &oordinating breath and !ove!ent in this +a# co!pels #ou to slo+ do+n and +ait for the asana to unfold naturall#( 19( )s #our !uscles rela" +ith this breath !assage* the spine beco!es !ore adaptable and #our ar!s can e"tend !ore strongl#* facilitating a !uch deeper spinal rotation( 1<( CineBtune the asana b# e"a!ining the relationship bet+een #our spiraling spine and #our pelvis( deall# #our pelvis is still level( sa# ,ideall#- because our bodies tend to follo+ the path of least resistance1 in this spinal t+ist* it>s far easier to rotate to the right b# dropping #our left hip than to initiate !ove!ent fro! #our abdo!en and lo+er spine* +here !obilit# is !ore li!ited( 1=( Re!e!ber* +hen sa# to keep #our pelvis level* the left hip at the sa!e height as #our right* don>t intend #ou to grip #our !uscles and hold #our

pelvis rigid* since this can stress #our sacru! and lu!bar spine( The pelvis continues to float* as #ou practiced earlier* over a cal!* controlled bell#( 20( )s an e"ploration* drop #our left hip and feel ho+ !uch !ore easil# #our spine turns to the right( 21( %o+* tr# to keep that turn as #ou e"hale and raise the left hip again( Though lifting the hip +ill !ost likel# pull #ou slightl# out of that enticing t+ist* #ou +ill feel in the second position that the !uscles directl# along the spine beco!e !ore involvedGespeciall# in the area of #our back that !ost needs the attention of the !assaging breath( 22( &ontinue to refine #our t+ist until further visible progress is not possible( 5ven then* notice the breath>s pulse reverberate through #ou* a subtle !otion that connects #ou to #our core and persuades #ou to sta# in the pose( 2/( )t a certain point #our enduranceGand this does re:uire enduranceG+ill begin to +ane( Fse that as #our cue to co!e out of the pose( On an inhalation* begin to lift out of the pose* rela"ing #our ar!s and letting #our head and spine !elt out of the t+ist( .ift fro! the abdo!en and use #our e"halation to help bring #ou full# upright( 24( Repeat these first t+o positions t+isting to #our left and then rest for a !inute or t+o in a passive Fttansana 2Standing Cor+ard Bend3 before proceeding on to+ard Parivrtta Trikonasana( Re!e!ber to pace #ourself( Squaring Your Hips 1( Begin as in the previous pose* +ith #our feet +ide apart and parallel +ith each other( Then turn #our left foot and leg and pelvis about 20 degrees to the right( Pivot #our right leg and hip so the thigh* knee* and foot turn =0 degrees out fro! their original position1 line #our heels up +ith each other for stabilit#1 and place #our hands on #our hips( 2( Once #ou have established #our standing position* direct #our attention to the left leg( Though #ou can no longer see the leg* #ou can feel it( Eno+ing bod# !ove!ent and position b# sensation rather than b# vision is an essential skill in hatha #oga( )s #ou did earlier* spread the ball 0oints of the foot* rooting #our big and little toe 0oints as +ell as the center of the heel( 8hen +ell grounded* #ou +ill feel an internal lift flo+ up #our leg* bringing space and inner support to #our 0oints( 8hile #ou !a# need to encourage this rebound a bit b# lifting the front ankle or knee* the point of an# such e"ternal action is to facilitate inner !ove!ent( /( %o+ that #our back leg is grounded* rotate #our hips farther to the right until the# are as close to being side b# side as possible( 4( f #our hips easil# !ake this rotation* #ou>re all set( 6( Fsuall#* though* the left hip hangs back( 7( ;on>t turn #our hips b# rotating #our left leg in !ore( 9( This +ill disturb the grounding of the back leg* and keeping the pose rooted is essentialD t helps #ou resist the lure to do the t+ist fro! the hips instead of the spine( <( nstead* tr# this !ethod to s:uare #our hipsD Place #our right hand on the right buttock and* +ith a fir! e"halation* !ove #our right hip back* taking care not to dislodge the back leg( =( You !a# discover* to #our surprise* that restriction in #our right hip +as the reason #our left hip +ouldn>t turn(

10( $oving deeper +ith #our right hip not onl# opens that hip and !oves it back beside the left* it also generates a s!all rotation in the sacru! and s:uee?es the abdo!inal organs( 11( %o+ inhale and again plug #our left leg into the earth1 e"hale to rotate #our pelvis for+ard over the right leg until the torso is parallel to the floor* placing #our left fingertips on the floor as close to #our right big toe as possible( f #ou can>t reach the floor* place #our hand on #our leg or a block or bend #our knees slightl#( 12( f #our hand rests easil# on the floor* !ove it to the little side of the foot( 1/( Take a !inute to stabili?e #our base( 14( B# this point #ou have probabl# reali?ed that Parivrtta Trikonasana is not 0ust a t+ist but also a balancing pose* +hich !akes it even !ore necessar# to think about #our roots( 16( The !ore grounded #our left leg* the lighter* !ore spacious * and !ore !obile #our right hip +ill be* !aking it !uch easier to find inner s#!!etr# and avoid unco!fortable pressure in #our right hip( 17( )t the sa!e ti!e* keep the inner environ!ent of #our pelvis fluid and stead# b# focusing on the rh#th! of #our breath* letting the e"halation and the pause that follo+ it create internal support for the sacru! and lu!bar spine( 19( Recall the sensations of the s#!!etrical pelvis #ou e"perienced in the Parivrtta Prasarita Padottanasana( !agine that #ou have a second pair of legs positioned as the# +ere in that pose1 let these i!aginar# legs stabili?e #our pose( 1<( 8ith the pelvis level but not rigid* e"hale and lengthen #our spine fro! the tailbone to the skull( 1=( )llo+ the pulse of #our breathing to !agnif# subtle sensations throughout #our bod#* revealing and then softening an# hard areas( 20( 5"hale to e"tend through #our left ar! and press #our left hand into the floor* feeling #our torso rebound up in response and the spine begin to rotate to the right( 21( )s in Parivrtta Prasarita Padottanasana* resist the urge to turn #our chest farther than it is naturall# carried b# the ar!>s action( 22( &ontinue to scan the spine for an# signs of tension that could irritate tender liga!ents* letting #our breath help release the tight spots( 2/( )s #our spinal !uscles soften* e"hale and e"tend the right ar! up+ard* allo+ing this action to rotate #our spine even !ore( 24( Be patient and !ove +ith the pu!ping rh#th! of the breath( 26( Retreat slightl# as #ou inhale1 e"tend the ar!s to rotate the spine !ore as #ou e"hale( 27( Sta# strongl# connected to #our roots b# initiating each spinal response fro! the back bell# and b# gentl# keeping #our hips level( f at an# ti!e #our breathing beco!es strained* back off until a stead# rh#th! is restored( 29( Cinall#* e"tend #our right ar! up and rotate #our head to the right* feeling the enor!ous influence of this action( 2<( Turning #our skull sends rotation spiraling do+n the spine( f #our neck hurts as #ou turn the head* tr# i!agining #our are initiating the turn fro! +ithin #our chest( 2=( f #our balance is disturbed* look back do+n as #ou reBroot #our left leg* stead# the pelvis* and cal! the bell#( /0( Sta# focused on #our base as #ou e"hale and slo+l# turn #our head again(

/1( Persist in +orking +ith the head !ove!ent1 if #ou don>t turn #our head* rotation is reduced not 0ust in the cervical spine but also in the thoracic region* depriving #ou of the chance to restore !ove!ent in this notoriousl# tight area of the spine( /2( Sta# in Parivrtta Trikonasana for a fe+ breaths( //( &lose #our e#es to better sense the subtle !otion that free breathing sustains even +hen the outer for! of the asana appears static( /4( .et this internal !otion help #ou beco!e !ore co!fortable( /6( identif# and release an# nagging pockets of holding along the spine until #our chet bloo!s full# fro! the inside out( /7( Rel# on subtle internal !ove!ents and #our breath to tell #ou +hen to leave the pose( /9( )s the abilit# of the structural !uscles to support #our asana +eakens* #ou +ill feel strin in #our breathing( )t that point* inhale and rela" #our ar!s* letting he spine uncoil1 then e"hale and dra+ #our torso up to a standing positin* initiating the !ove!ent fro! #our pelvic floor( /<( Repeat the last three postures of this practice se:uence on the other side* and then rest in Fttansana(