It’s not an easy pose, Parivrtta Trikonasana. It looks fairly simple but looks can be deceiving. Your base of support is narrow which makes balancing difficult, and your balance is further compromised by the twist. Another aspect is the momentum needed to achieve the pose. If you go too far too soon you’re likely to topple. Keeping the extension and twist smooth and controlled is key.
Preparing for Parivrtta Trikonasana usually involves Trikonasana, the final positions are fairly similar after all. Whilst preparing with Trikonasana is useful I think it’s worth considering how you come into Trikonasana to develop the sensitivity needed for the Parivrrta variation.
Tadasana is the standard starting point for standing poses and in today’s class that’s where we started. It’s useful for reminding ourselves of the actions required in the feet, legs, hips, chest and arms. But going into Trikonasana from Tadasana means we’re extending sideways. In Parivrtta Trikonasana we’re extending forwards and twisting.
To develop a feel for this action I got the class to come into Trikonasana from Adho Mukha Svanasana:
- take the left heel towards the right foot
- take the right foot forwards into a lunge position
- check the alignment of the feet – right heel in line with the centre of the arch of the left foot
- come into Trikonasana by simultaneously straightening the right leg and turning the left shoulder back, opening the chest and taking the top arm up
This is a whole new ball-game. You have to develop a feel for when to move and when to stop and how to maintain your balance throughout the movement. Although you’re moving in a different direction in Parivrrta Trikonasana, the feel for movement and balance is the same.
We did similar work in the vinyasa flow class. As you get more familiar with the Surya Namaskar sequence, introducing new poses into the flow helps to keep the lessons challenging. It also feels good, developing the control to come into familiar poses like Trikonasana from unfamiliar starting positions like Adho Mukha Svanasana. It’s a good way to develop the cardio-vascular system as well, as the increased range of movement means you’re having to do more work in less time. Coming into full Trikonasana from downward dog in the length of an inhalation, and going back to downward dog on an exhalation isn’t as easy as it might look.