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Some points on a triangle

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Wow. Today’s exercise in exploring the basics of Parivrtta Trikonasana — the revolved triangle — was an eyeopener. I was using the article in this month’s Yoga Journal to guide me through the process. I warmed up with a few breaths of Samasthiti, some forward bends with arm movement to open the upper back and Parshva Uttanasana — the one sided stretch with arms movements to keep working the upper back.

The Yoga Journal article had a couple of variations and I decided to stick with the first. It’s a highly modified Parivrtta Trikonasana but boy, is it instructive!!! It’s taken with parallel feet, spread wide on the long axis of the mat. Exhale torso until it’s level with the floor and place the hand on a block that’s in line with body centre. This gives a starting place where the back is long and extended, sacrum flat. Keeping the legs (and hips) engaged pushed the twist as I lifted one arm up into the thoracic spine.

I very quickly became aware that I have developed a habitual shortcut with this posture. I’ve been dropping the hip on the side opposite to the upraised arm in order to facilitate the twist. Taking the posture this way made me very aware of how I’m using the rotational capacity of the lumbar spine and the swivel in the hips to keep the thoracic spine from letting go of its customary rigidity.

I will definitely be repeating this process as a way of teaching the muscles in the middle back to let go. The posture was held fairly long … 8 breaths on each side — consciously lengthening the spine on the inhalation phase and releasing into the twist (now located in my mid spine!!) on the exhale phase.

After both sides, I laid on my back, just letting the curves of the spine find the mat and floor. The entire thoracic section was alive and energized. It really felt terrific. I finished the session with a few repetitions of Bridge and Apanasana to release the spine.

Thanks for reading and Namaste,



About Kate MacKay

I'm a certified Viniyoga teacher, in Fredericton, NB. I was a 9-1-1 operator and emergency services dispatcher for 22 years. Surprisingly, the two worked well together, or as I liked to put it, from the sublime to the ridiculous -- all in a day's work. I'm currently off work as a result of a stress-induced cardiac condition that's thrown a few crimps in my lifestyle. I'm not actively teaching yoga in the classroom right now and probably won't for several more months. That said, this blog is one of the forms of practice I can do and I thank you for joining me in this exploration of all things yoga.

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