Trikonasana or triangle pose is an extremely common standing posture in hatha yoga. Its simplicity allows a beginner to do the pose while true mastery may take years. I’m not even close and I’ve been working at it for 8 years. This pose is an easy transition from warrior 2 though the feet are often closer together in triangle. This pose works deeply into the hamstrings and hips and often new students feel sore in these areas the day after class.
Go slow, feel your body flow into the pose. Work on the alignment and be less concerned with depth. It’s not about doing the pose perfectly, it’s about feeling your way through the pose and breathing into a new space. Triangle may be one of those friends for life poses you’ll return to but it always has something to teach you. If necessary align yourself from the ground up. Start at the feet, how do they feel? Can you be more grounded? Can you feel more anchored to the floor then lift out from that? Work your way up the body, like running yourself through a scan. Feel the pose, embrace it. Breathe and love the space you create.
The twist in the pose comes after you’ve lengthened your spine. Students slouch in this pose frequently and I find the hand reaching out to the mirror to be the easiest way to prevent this from happening. Once you’ve felt it several times it’s easier to not make that mistake but when you start really reach out to create a long spine before you concern yourself with twisting. When you do twist, twist from the lower spine first then spiral out to the up stretched hand.
If you decide to turn your head make sure you’re balanced and grounded. It’s not uncommon to fall out once you turn the head so ground into your feet first. Don’t rush to turn the head, go slow, feel the twist through the neck. Tuck your chin and when you look up your chin will be closer to your shoulder. This chin tuck is safer for your cervical spine and if you feel strain take note, you’re probably not tucking the chin.
Try the transition from warrior 2 into triangle. Find a foot spacing that allows you to leave the feet where they are and go between both poses to feel the difference. Most of all, breathe. The breath will take you more deeply into the pose. If you feel strain back off, breathe deeply and let it slowly work its magic.