Trikonasana or Triangle Pose is one of the asanas we frequently include in the standing series of many Yoga classes. Trikonasana when translated from the sanskrit means 3 angle pose: Tri meaning three, Kona meaning angle and asana meaning pose.
A triangle has many representations - the 3 forces of nature: tamasa (inertia), raja (action) and sattva (harmony). Often the asana is explained as bringing together to balance the physical, the mental and the spiritual aspects. There are many more explanations of the power of three in yogic philosophy and elsewhere, but ultimately what we are always trying to achieve is the balance.
Some of the physical benefits of Trikonasana include stretching through tightness in the legs, hips, stimulating the abdominal organs, improving digestion and helping to relieve stress and anxiety. If you look at the physical form of the asana you can see the sense of trying to create balance in the triangles being formed.
Sometimes you will hear us say in class to think about the triangles the body is creating in Trikonasana. Someone recently asked us how many triangles there are in triangle pose. It is an interesting question and the answer is not so straightforward. There are the primary triangles and the secondary triangles. In the photo of Alison (below) you can see 2 triangles easily, the first between both her legs and the floor, the second triangle from the left leg, left arm and left side of her torso. If you look at the photo of Heidi (above) you can see a large triangle formed from her right side body, the floor and the left arm to her chin which meets her right shoulder. What other ones can you see? Luka counted 14 in total! Even if you can’t see them or they are not fully formed yet, the goal is balance and harmony.