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The term Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word 'yuj' meaning to connect, join, or balance. Wikimedia
  • Yoga is a 5000-year old Indian body of knowledge
  • This combination of mental, physical and spiritual practices hold the key to a healthier life
  • The Trikonasana focuses on the mind, body, and soul of the yogi

New Delhi, August 10, 2017: I am a hurtler, and it comes naturally to me. My days were always divided into two segments- a part that fast-forwarded through every task and the other which was rather dull and long. Once I was out of the bed, I hurtled through my morning routine and sped through every task scheduled. This was usually followed by long hours sitting at my workstation. The problem with this go-go-go attitude and then the sluggish stance was that it put me in a frantic state, leaving me worn out by the end of the day.

This went on for a few months. All this while, I kept saying, ‘My back hurts when I get up from bed’. ‘Maybe I’ve been sitting on my desk for too long, my lower back hurts’. ‘My bag is too heavy and my shoulders ache now’- words that I later realized were only another way of saying that I needed to establish a healthy routine.

Climbing stairs was exhausting, and it hurt more mentally than physically because I was not old yet, and I should have been fine doing it.

These realizations then began to be predictably followed by – “I am going to do yoga every morning, I am sure that will help.”

But I didn’t.

I talked about it all the time, read extensively about it in the Internet. Even got myself a yoga mat. I did everything to be ready for my promised early-morning-yoga-sessions, but I made zero efforts to actually do yoga.

It took me a while to recognize that things weren’t getting better. So, I decided to own up, and finally get to business, if even for 10 minutes daily in the morning. Studies suggest that doing yoga can relieve anxiety and increase flexibility and I was willing to try.

I began getting up early and diligently joined my mother for her morning sessions. After meticulously doing yoga for a month, I observed that it,

  1. Lowers stress and improves mood
  2. Boosts confidence
  3. Lowers risk of injury
  4. Helps lose weight
  5. Increases flexibility
  6. Improves strength and helps tone muscles
  7. Improves posture
  8. Supplements breathing and helps keep blood pressure in check

The Indian spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar very aptly puts it, “Health is not a mere absence of disease. It is a dynamic expression of life-in terms of how joyful, loving and enthusiastic you are.”

One yoga asana that specifically helped me target and cure my back and shoulder trouble and has now made it to my favorite list is the TRIKONASANA.

The asana is pronounced as Tree-cone-ah-sah-nah

Trikonasana against the sunsent at Sunset. Wikimedia

In the Hindu mythology, the triangle is a forceful symbol and the three sides of the triangle represent the three forces of the universe,

  • The creative force Brahma
  • The sustaining force Vishṇu
  • The destroyer and force of change Shiva

Taking on similar lines, the triangle pose signifies focusing on the mind, body and soul of the yogi, its qualities being strength, the ability to support weight and the capacity to resist pressure.

Unlike most other yoga postures, this asana requires the eyes to be kept open.

It is known to stimulate all the abdominal organs, and helps in treating diabetes. The asana also assists in better digestion, and helps reduce waist fat, and enhance spinal flexibility.

However, one should avoid doing this if suffering from high or low blood pressure, migraine, neck or back injuries.

How to do the Trikonasana (Triangle pose)

  1. Stand straight with your feet comfortably wide apart.
  2. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees.
  3. Ensure that your feet are pressed against the ground and the body weight is balanced equally in both the feet.
  4. Inhale deeply, and raise both your arms from the sides, bringing them in line with your shoulders.
  5. As you exhale, bend your upper half to touch the right toe with the left hand, while the right hand points straight upwards.
  6. Now turn your head to look at the right hand in the air.
  7. Make sure both your knees are straight when you perform this posture.
  8. Hold the posture for as long as you can, as you breathe normally. Then repeat the same with the other side.

The Trikonasana. In this posture, the yogi can either touch the ground, as depicted in the image, or touch their toes. Wikimedia

Benefits of the Trikonasana

  • Strengthens legs, knees, chest, and arms.
  • Stretches and moves the muscles of the legs, hamstrings, calves, hips, shoulders, chest, and spine.
  • Increases mental and physical equilibrium.
  • Reduces anxiety, stress, and back pain.

ALSO READ: Here’s how the Science links Yoga to Happiness!

As a beginner, there are a few things you can do to make the experience enjoyable, and perform the asana in the right manner,

  • Throughout the asana, ensure that your back is totally straight.
  • Do not twist along the hips while twisting the body. Only your legs move.
  • As a beginner, it might help to keep the back of your torso or heel touched against a wall to keep steady in the pose.

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