Triangle

Actually it’s got nothing to do with the Bermuda triangle at all, we’re just here talking about Triangle pose!

What are the benefits of the pose? What isn’t should be the question! This pose provides a deep stretch for the hamstrings, groins, and hips, it also opens the chest and shoulders, and helps to relieve lower back pain, stress, and sluggish digestion. Not only this but it strengthens the muscles in the thighs, hips, and back, while toning the knees and ankles.

But what about the spiritual meaning of the triangle? Is there any more to that?

We all know three is a magic number, throughout history it has appeared in religion, spirituality, politics, power and nature as a powerful number: The three kings, three stooges, three-headed dogs, three Powerpuff Girls, the list goes on…

It was the number of harmony for Pythagoras, and completeness for Aristotle, and in terms of the Yoga tradition, we have three Ayurvedic doshas of Vata, Pitta a Kapha, the three gunas Tamas, Rajas and Sattva, three nadis of Ida, Pingala and Sushumna, and three elements of creation, preservation and destruction….

The full name of this pose – utthita trikonasana is composed of the Sanskrit words utthita meaning ‘extended’, tri meaning ‘three’, kona meaning ‘angle’ and asana meaning ‘posture’.

The three angles join together to create the triangular structure a strong structure – think Egyptian pyramids for example.

Because of such said large strong and stable structures, representationally, the triangle is often considered masculine in essence, symbolising power, divinity, fire, the heart, mountains, prosperity, harmony and royalty.

The upturned triangle however is (obviously) feminine, lunar, representing the great mother, water, and grace. It’s clear when observing the simple shape of the triangle, how the three lines imply a sense of resolution and finality, absolution and perfection… and also the woman’s lady bits, come on, let’s be honest.

Largely though it is within the number three that gives this shape such a spiritual meaning – three is often seen in a cycle – and in yoga the grouping of Brahma (creator), Vishnu (preserver) and Shiva (destroyer) symbolise the three cycles of manifestation and nature. Everything in this world moves through this cycle. An essential yogic teaching is the ability to understand and accept this cycle of three – when we can observe the cycle of three in everyday life, we’re able to connect more to the fact that everything changes, and that change is an inherent part of nature.

So there’s often a little more to your Asana than first thought!

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