I believe that all yoga postures can be modified to accommodate every body's needs — so that we can get the greatest number of benefits from a given pose without strain or injury. Rather than forcing yourself into a given pose, use a prop like a block to create length and space in your body.
For many, Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana) can greatly benefit from the use of a block, as it helps maintain a sense of openness and space in the side body. This pose stretches and strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankles opening the hip, groins, hamstrings and calves. It also stimulates the abdominal organs to improve digestion and helps relieve stress, anxiety and neck pain.
In this video, I'll explain a great way to support yourself with a block in Triangle Pose so that you can feel at ease in the posture, while still getting the benefits.
First, to find Triangle Pose, step your feet wide apart. Turn your front foot forward and angle the toes of your back foot so they are moving slightly forward. Feet can be either heel-to-heel or heel-to-arch alignment.
Once your feet are placed, take a deliberate moment to really feel your foundation. Activate your legs and firm your thighs. Then extend your arms, bend at the hip joint, and reach your front arm so you are lengthening the side of the body before lowering the front arm down and lifting the back arm up. Your fingers can rest on the floor, ankle, shin, or my favorite, a block.
While some people can touch the floor in this pose, it doesn't always mean it's the best variation or proper alignment for everyone. We want to avoid collapsing in the side body, so I strongly suggest placing a block vertically behind the shin and placing your fingers on the block under your shoulder.
From there, hug the front hip into the body toward the mid-line and lengthen the tailbone toward the back heel. Keep your chest open, broadening across the collarbones, and breathe steadily. Find a safe place for your neck and head. You can gaze forward to keep your head in a neutral position, or turn the head to look up at the top thumb.
When you're ready to come out of the pose, look down, making sure to press down into the feet before inhaling to come up. Pause in neutral before reversing the feet and trying on the other side. Remember, it's not about forcing yourself into the pose. It's all about finding space in each pose, even if that means using a block!
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