Utthita Trikonasana

"Teach the body, not the pose."-- JL

There were several poses, Tadasana, Utthita Trikonasana (triangle), Parvrtta Trikonasana (revolved triangle), Adho Muka Svanasana (downward facing dog), and a few others that Judith teaches very differently from what most of us were taught (in a room of 60 plus people). Here are the notes I managed to scribble down.

Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle pose):

hips: do not hold the hip back or think of the body as being in between two planes of glass because it stresses the lip of the hip joint to pull it back. ("let's stop the yogi hip injury epidemic!" just try to move one side of your hip without moving the other- you can't). "just because something is familiar, doesn't mean it's good for you. having softness in your hip is not the same as weakness."

legs & feet: line up the heel of the front foot with the middle arch of the back foot (so that you pay attention to your feet!). create equal standing, rooting through the heels. back foot is neither supinated nor pronated and at a 45 degree angle ("turn your back toes in"). turn front foot slightly out to rotate the femur (this prevents hyper extension of the knee and contracts the quads automatically). feet should be "the proper distance" - it's not the same for everyone. allow thighs to part like the red sea, turning your front thigh out. your knee is the prisoner of the foot and hip (take care to not lock it out)

hands: if you place weight on the hand (into the floor or block), the pose becomes more of a stretch for the hamstrings. if no weight is in the hands, then the pose is strength oriented.

head: look either forward or toward the floor; rotating the head upward does not follow the law of side bending and rotation (when you rotate to the right, you side bend right but the cervical vertebrae (1-2) turn the opposite way. so when you rotate C1-C2 left in a right triangle, you go against gravity or the normal rotation and strains the neck (the head is 12-20lbs!)). if it doesn't hurt at first... just hold it a while and see what happens. "keep your brain still and rotate your body around it"

breath: exhale and turn the diaphragm up

teacher adjustment: place hand near crease of front thigh and other hand gently above wrist and guide them forward to alignment, letting hip go forward; how does that feel?


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