The Benefits Of The Triangle Pose

If you have read my earlier post, “Confessions of a Morning Person” you may be inclined to think that I am the type to roll out of the bed on the right side every morning and hear the birds chirping as I stretch my arms wide over my head. In fact, one of the tips I wrote about was the benefits of starting of the day with a few minutes of meditation and stretching. I feel as though I should confess: I am actually the type of person who absolutely hates stretching. Although I know I am going to feel ten times better after doing it, I find it difficult to motivate myself to stretch for even five or ten minutes daily. Sometimes, the only way I can find to motivate myself is to look at the facts. One of the ways I do this is by looking into the details and direct benefits of a specific pose, for example, the triangle pose.

The extended triangle pose helps to strengthen and engage muscles in the back, abdomen, legs, arms, and neck. It essentially stretches the entire body with a focus on the legs and back. The feet are planted flat on the ground approximately 3-4 feet away from one another. The foot of choice (right or left) is turned outward 90 degrees and the arms are stretched out parallel to the ground palms facing the ground. The thigh on the same side as the outward turned foot is turned outward carefully to open up the pelvic area. The torso is then positioned over to the side of the turned foot and thigh, with one hand reaching toward the sky and the other planted on the ground or holding the ankle.

This pose helps to engage several muscles: the gracilis, adductor longus, adductor brevis, and pectineus are all tightly extended and stretched. The latissimus dorsi and pectoralis major muscles are engaged and extended to lift the arm into the air. All of the abdominal muscles and obliques are engaged to keep the torso both twisted and extended parallel to the ground. The fibularis muscles, as well as the tendons (calcaneal, gastrocnemius) of the lower leg are stretched to maintain the wide stance. If you don’t speak anatomy, this basically means muscles from all over the body are engaged during this stretch.

Yoga has been linked to many positive therapy outcomes in a variety of mental health patients. For example, there has evidence that yoga can help to reduce symptoms such as anxiety, anger, and stress in patients diagnosed with depressive disorders who are experiencing remission from antidepressants. Because yoga engages so many parts of the body, it can help to increase overall flexibility as well as endurance of the cardio-respiratory muscles. If you are like me and need a little extra motivation to practice your flexibility, think about this the next time you want (or don’t want) to take a stretch break.