Twisted Triangle Pose is a standing, deep-twisting yoga pose that stretches the whole body. It squeezes and massages your digestive organs, while challenging your balance and concentration. It is sometimes used as a counter-pose to Extended Triangle (Utthita Trikonasana), and is also a good preparatory pose for deeper seated twists, such as Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matseyndrasana).
The Sanskrit name for this pose, "Parivrtta Trikonasana" (PAHR-ee-VREE-tah tree-koh-NAH-suh-nuh), comes from four words:
- “Parivrtta” — meaning “revolved”
- “Tri" — meaning "three"
- "Kona” — meaning “angle”
- “Asana” — meaning “pose”
It also goes by various English names, including “Revolving Triangle,” “Triangle Twist,” “Twisting Triangle,” and others. But it doesn't matter what your teacher calls it. Practice this pose and you will gain all of its full-body benefits!
Benefits of Twisted Triangle
Parivrtta Trikonasana provides all of the benefits of Utthita Trikonasana, including:
- Stretched hamstrings, groins, and hips
- Opened chest and shoulders
- Relief from lower back pain, stress, and sluggish digestion
- Strengthened thigh, hip, and back muscles
- Improved balance and stability, both mentally and physically
- Increased body confidence, courage, and poise
Be in the now and you'll know how.
Adding a twist to the torso massages your internal organs, which tones them and increases their ability to detoxify your body. Cleansing and toning these internal organs also improves metabolism, and is therapeutic for digestive troubles, including constipation. This pose also helps to relieve low back pain and sciatica.
Do not practice Twisted Triangle if you have low blood pressure or are experiencing insomnia, migraines, headaches, or diarrhea. Women who are pregnant should also avoid this pose. Those with neck injuries should not turn their heads to face the top hand (in Step 8), but should continue looking straight ahead. Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.
- Begin standing at the top of your mat with your feet hip-distance apart and your arms at your sides. Step your feet about two to three feet apart, and align your heels.
- Turn your right foot out 90 degrees so your toes are pointing to the top of the mat. The center of your right kneecap should be aligned with the center of your right ankle. Pivot your left foot inward to a 45-degree angle.
- Bring your hands to your hips and square your hips forward.
- Raise your left arm toward the ceiling, with your bicep next to your left ear. Reach up strongly through your left hand.
- On an exhalation, hinge forward from your hips, keeping your spine long. Place your left hand to the outside of your right foot as you open your torso to the right.
- Use your right hand to draw your right hip back so it stays in line with your left hip.
- Inhale and lengthen your spine again. Then, exhale as you roll your right shoulder back and extend your right arm straight up toward the ceiling. Reach strongly through your right fingertips.
- Turn your head to gaze at your right thumb.
- Keep your hips level. Press down firmly through your back heel.
- Hold the pose for up to one minute. To come out of the pose, gently release the twist. Then, press firmly through your left heel. With an inhalation, lift your torso upright and lower your arms. Turn to the left, reversing the position of your feet, and repeat for the same length of time on the opposite side.
Modifications & Variations
Parivrtta Trikonasana will work every muscle in your body when practiced correctly! Try these changes to find a version of the pose that works best for you right now:
Many practitioners may feel unsteady in the pose. If this is the case, there are a few things you can try to find a pose most suitable to your needs:
- Rest your back heel against a wall.
- A narrower stance will also be more stable, so step your back foot in slightly if you need extra support.
- Rest your bottom hand on a block.
- Beginners and those who are less flexible can rest the bottom hand near the inside of the front foot, or on the shin of the front leg.
- More flexible students can align the front heel with the arch of the back foot. This will deepen the stretch to the legs.
- For more leverage to help roll your torso open, lift your back heel slightly. This will make the pose unstable, but you can press your back heel onto a folded yoga mat or against a wall for better balance.
- To deepen the pose, more flexible students can press their bottom forearm against the outer shin of the front leg. This extra pressure will help the torso rotate more deeply.
Practicing Twisted Triangle can lengthen and stretch the whole body, rejuvenating your energy in no time! Keep the following information in mind when practicing this pose:
- Keep your pelvis neutral and turn your trunk instead. Think of your hips as the anchor of this pose.
- Before coming into the twist, place your hands on your hip bones to determine whether your hips are squared to the front of your mat. Draw the hip of your front leg back, and the opposite hip forward.
- Strongly engage your leg muscles.
- Lift your belly in and up.
- Keep a straight line through your spine — do not let your spine round in the pose.
- Never force the twist! Only turn as far as it feels healthy and comfortable; then, gently deepen the pose from there.
Revolve Your Position
Twisted Triangle can be a great way to add detoxifying benefits to your practice, and at the same time challenge your balance and grace. Practicing this pose on a regular basis will enhance your poise and focus, while squeezing out toxins that can weigh you down. Realign your body, mind, and spirit with this pose!