Revolved Triangle Pose -- also known as Parivrtta Trikonasana -- is the counterpose to Trikonasana. This pose will open your hamstrings and loosen your hips to prepare you for advanced forward bends.
(Pronounced as "par-ee-vrit-tah treek-CONE-AHS-anna")
The Sanskrit word parivrtta means "revolved or rotated," and trikona means "triangle." In this pose, you rotate your torso to face the opposite direction that you would normally face in Trikonasana.
Stand up straight on your yoga mat in Tadasana. Take a breath. As you exhale, jump your feet apart as wide as you can. Straighten your arms and lift them up by your sides so that you form a straight line from your hand through your shoulders and toward the other hand. Your palms should face downward. Keep your feet less than 4 feet apart from each other and turn your right foot 90 degrees to the right. Turn your left foot 60 degrees to the right. Straighten your legs and press your left heel firmly into the floor. Make sure your heels are in line with each other.
Exhale as you turn your torso to the right from your pelvis, stretching your left hand up high in the air and gradually bringing your left hand down on the floor next to the outside of your right foot. You can put your hand on a yoga block if you cannot reach the floor. Press your left palm into the floor, or press your left palm on top of your yoga block if you are using one. Press your back heel down harder into the floor for stability. Keep both legs straight.
Now as you continue to rotate your torso to the right, stretch your right hand up high in the air so that your right hand is directly above your shoulders. Keep your right arm straight and look up at the thumb of your right hand. Tuck in your shoulder blades and expand your chest. While you are twisting your torso across the front leg, do not let too much weight come forward over the front leg. Keep pushing back through your left heel to maintain your balance and twist your hips to the right as much as possible. Do not hunch your back.
If you lose your balance while trying to gaze up at the right thumb, then you can keep your head down and look at the floor instead. Stretch your arms out and away from each other as much as you can.
Hold this pose for at least 30 seconds. Gradually increase the duration to one minute in the future as you continue practicing it. Exhale as you untwist yourself. Inhale as you come up. Then repeat these steps while twisting to the left side and holding the posture for the same amount of time.
At first, one of the hardest things to do is to keep your back heel on the floor while you rotate your torso up toward the ceiling. Therefore, you can practice the pose with your legs slightly closer together, which makes it easier to press down firmly through your back heel. Then as you practice the pose more in the future, you can start practicing it with your feet further apart as they should be.
Secondly, you can also brace your back heel against a wall so that only your heel makes contact with the wall. Then as you perform the pose, push your back heel firmly into the wall for more stability.
To get a deeper twist in your torso, push the forearm of your bottom hand against the outer shin of your bottom leg. The momentum from this push will give you extra leverage to turn from your hips and then lift your torso more.
Ask a partner to help you stabilize your legs while twisting. Take a yoga belt and wrap it around your front hip right at the root of your thigh. Give the ends of the yoga belt to your partner, who should stand behind your back foot. As you come into the pose, your partner should pull on the ends of the yoga belt to tuck your front groin muscles deeper into your pelvis and help you keep most of your weight on your back foot. Your partner can also press the balls of their foot into your back heel to help you keep your back heel pressed into the mat.
After you come into the full Parivrtta Trikonasana, you can continue from there into Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana, also known as Revolved Half Moon Pose.
For example, once you have performed Parivrtta Trikonasana while twisting to your right side, then bend your right knee on an exhalation as you reach your left hand forward about a foot in front of your right foot on the floor. Place your hand on a block if you cannot reach the floor. Keep your left hand on the floor in line with the big toe side of your right foot. As you inhale, straighten your right knee and simultaneously raise your left leg up off of the floor as you shift your weight onto your straightened right leg. Hold your left leg in the air, keeping the leg straight and parallel to the floor.
Stay in this posture for 30 seconds and gradually increase the time up to a minute as you continue practicing this pose in the future. Exhale as you lower your foot back down to the floor. Reverse these steps to come out of the posture. Then repeat this pose while twisting to the left side, holding the pose for the same amount of time.
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