Do you still practice and teach revolved triangle? I was reading through a thread in one of the Facebook forums that I belong to, and a lot of yoga teachers were saying that they no longer practice or teach this pose for a variety of reasons. Some people stated that they just didn't understand it enough to teach it. Others felt like it caused a bit of stress to their SI joints, or they just felt awkward and uncomfortable in the pose and so were concerned about teaching it to their students. One teacher expressed frustration that students in her classes would often choose not to place their hand on a block, even though she could see that the trunk flexion caused by placing the hand on the floor was clearly inhibiting their ability to rotate their trunk.
When I was a relatively new yoga student I remember expressing my strong dislike of revolved triangle to one of my teachers, and she said to me: "Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find a way to fall in love with this pose. You can use whatever props you like." I took her up on the challenge, and ended up finding a way to do it with my forearm propped up on the kitchen table that actually felt somewhat enjoyable. And today it's one of my favorite postures.
If you dislike revolved triangle, or find it somewhat difficult to teach, check out the above video that Frances and I created to show a step-by-step progression into the pose that might help you and your students experience a little more ease and joy. One of the key teaching points is to facilitate more spinal rotation by preserving the lift of the chest and extension of the spine throughout the pose by:
In order for the thoracolumbar spine to rotate to its full potential (about 35-45 degrees), it is important to maintain spinal extension. If the hamstrings, glutes or other hip extensors are relatively tight they will limit the anterior tilt of the pelvis in seated spinal twists and revolved triangle, which will in turn cause the spine to flex (round). It is also common for students to posteriorly tilt the pelvis and flex the spine during supine twists.
In the following video we explore the importance of preserving spinal extension during rotated postures in order to allow greater range of motion, foster the free flow of the breath, and prevent stress in the shoulders, necks, intervertebral and sacroiliac joints.
There seems to be two schools of thought regarding the position of the pelvis in parivritta trikonasana. Some teachers insist that the pelvis should be held in a level position and that the rotation should primarily occur in the spine, while others hold the view that the pelvis doesn't need to be level and that there are in fact benefits when you allow it to rotate (see a New Take on Twists by Jason Crandell, where he indicates how his view has changed about the position of the pelvis during rotated postures). I hold the latter view, that the pelvis should be allowed or even encouraged to follow the lumbar spine into the rotation, and in the following video present three benefits for doing so.
The three main points that we explore in the video are that letting the pelvis follow the rotation of the lumbar spine will...
As usual, please share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!