Nancy Preston is an Inwood resident who teaches Iyengar privately and in group settings at Bread and Yoga and Yoga for Bliss. YogaCity NYC asked her to demonstrate three versions of the same pose. She selected trikonasana. Here’s what she had to say about the posture:
YCNYC: Why did you select this pose?
NP: Triangle is a fundamental yoga asana utilizing the arms, legs, and trunk. The challenge is to bring harmony to the body in this asymmetrical posture. Coming out of the asana with as much grace as going into to it teaches stamina and discernment, both essential qualities for a healthy yoga practice.
YCNYC: Describe the anatomy of the first pose and body parts engaged.
NP: First picture is a more classic version of Trikonasana with the back to but not touching the wall. The nearness gives a frame of reference to keep the lateral aspect of the pose. Back of head, arms, shoulders, hips, thighs are in alignment in the same plane.
YCNYC: What body parts are engaged in the second pose?
NP: In the second picture is Trikonasana facing wall. Top arm uses the wall to keep alignment. Facing close to the wall like this gives another perspective and reference. It is calming and secure.
YCNYC: What is the overall effect of the third pose on the body, and what does this
one add to the understanding of the pose [and mind]?
NP: For the third posture, I used a chair for a prop. See in the picture how placing the
left hand on the chair allows me to extend the left side of the flank as I attempt to
make it as long as the right side of the flank, which will tend to shorten otherwise. The left hand presses down on the chair enabling more extension of the flank and an upward lift from left ankle to knee to hip, thus minimizing collapse and pressure on those joints (on the left side), which tend to bear more weight by the very geometry of this pose.