asana of the month – parivrtta trikonasana

Each month we choose a pose to focus on in every class through strong attention to alignment, variations, and/or modifications as a way to grow and expand our yogic horizons.

Last month, we focused on twisting—an action that stimulates circulation and has a cleansing and refreshing effect on the torso organs and associated glands. This month we build upon that theme, with Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)—a challenging standing pose (with a twist!) that reflects our intention to remain firmly grounded amidst the shifting natural world, as the seasons begin their rapid transition from summer to fall.

Los Angeles-based yoga teacher and Yoga Journal columnist Natasha Rizopoulos reminds us that “[a]n important technique to learn for twists is an even distribution of the work required. The tendency for most of us is to twist where it’s easy and avoid twisting where it’s not. This usually means that you will overwork the neck, which is relatively mobile, and underwork the middle and upper back, parts of the spine that in many people are about as malleable and responsive as a block of cement. When you overwork an area that is already mobile and ‘open,’ you make it more vulnerable to injury. However, twists like Parivrtta Trikonasana can help you bring openness and awareness to the thoracic spine, which is often lethargic. Working an area that you might normally ignore creates a perfect opportunity to observe the body and mind in relationship to practice.”

Parivrtta Trikonasana should be approached with respect and patience, and only after thoroughly warming up hips, hamstrings, groins, shoulders and spine.

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose):
Parivrtta = Revolved or turned around
Trikona = three-angle or triangle
Asana = Pose

Benefits (according to yogajournal.com):
* Strengthens and stretches the legs
* Stretches the hips and spine
* Opens the chest to improve breathing
* Relieves mild back pain
* Stimulates the abdominal organs
* Improves sense of balance

Cautions/Contraindications:
* hamstring injury
* sacroiliac issues
* back or spine injury
* neck vulnerability

Preparatory Poses:
* Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)
* Parsvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)
* Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
* Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side-Angle Pose)
* Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Bend)

Song that Most Comes to Mind While in the Posture:
Neeraj Shridhar’s “Twist Song” from fave 2009 Bollywood film “Love Aaj Kal” (Love These Days). View the video.

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