I’m truly thankful for my teachers who have taken the time to show me proper alignment. It’s something I still work on, because it’s a lifetime endeavor to be sure. As an ICU nurse, I firmly believe in protecting our bodies—we only have one and we put it through a lot! As a yoga teacher in training, I believe alignment brings incredible power to each pose.
When people ask me which form of yoga is best, I quickly reply, “I’m realizing all of them, actually!” They each bring something to the table that the other practices do not, and we can have a well-rounded practice when we learn from each practice. While Ashtanga yoga is my jam and I love the athleticism it requires (think Kino MacGregor’s crazy arm balances and inversions—swoon!), I am learning to embrace to spiritual flow of Prana, the healing elements of Tantra, and the safe alignment of Iyengar yoga. The side triangle is a staple pose in most yoga flows, and so here are a few tips and tricks to improve your asana and spare your back. We want pain free yoga, so we can practice till we’re 105 years old…at LEAST:)
Alignment Focus: Side Triangle (Utthita Trikonasana)
1. Enter from Warrior II (traditionally) by straighten your legs. Flip back thumb up.
2. Shift back hip out, slide front hand forward in a line. KEEP BACK LONG, try not to let it collapse. This takes a great deal of core strength! You can do it!
3. Flip one hand up in the air, the other down to your feet. It’s less important to touch the floor or the toe than it is to keep good form and get a proper stretch. Good alignment will prevent injury, and build flexibility and strength quicker.
4. Set gaze to your top hand. Press your body in a line as if you were in between two panes of glass. If someone were standing in from of my head looking towards my hips, they would be in line. Try to avoid those hips popping out to the sides:)
And that’s it! Easier said than done, I know. But these are some of the tips that I am currently working on each time I hit the mat, so I wanted to share them with you. If you are brand new to this pose, please check out this amazing Yoga Journal video.
Hope you’re having a lovely week! Much love and namaste!