How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Triangle Exercise - dummies

How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Triangle Exercise

By Sherri Baptiste, Megan Scott

The Triangle is based on a powerful and ancient yoga master pose. It’s a yoga-with-weights extended side angle pose that beginners can enjoy. The exercise works many muscles in your body, but it concentrates on the core muscles of your trunk, your shoulders, and your legs. As you balance, the Triangle also helps you trace and explore the physical feeling and sensation of your body.

You need hand weights for this exercise, so grab them and follow these steps:

  1. With your feet parallel to each other, stand with your legs as wide apart as you comfortably can, and hold the weights at your waist with your palms facing inward.

  2. Turn both feet to the right and bend at the right knee until you align your knee over your ankle.

  3. Rotate your torso to the right and rest your right forearm on your right thigh or knee; let the weight in your left hand hang to the ground with your arm straight and your palm facing inward.

    This is the starting position.

    Draw your belly in and up and your tailbone down to stabilize your legs, trunk, and spine. If you feel a burning sensation along the top of your supporting leg, your leg is doing too much support work. Focus on the core muscles of your torso and trunk so that they do more of the lifting and balancing work.

  4. Exhaling to a count of four, lift the weight in your left hand to your torso, bending your elbow toward the ceiling and drawing your shoulder slightly back, over, and downward as you lift.

    Look toward the ceiling and imagine that you’re pulling back an arrow on a bow. You should feel a solid pulling action that goes up, over, and back with each lift.

  5. Inhaling to a count of four, bring your head and torso back down as you turn to the right and lower the weight to the starting position.

    Follow the weight with your eyes. Don’t drop the weight — lower it slowly to the floor.

To anchor yourself, press down onto all four corners of your right foot and onto the balls of your left foot as you do this exercise. Don’t let your supporting knee wobble from side to side or extend over your toes.

If you’re flexible enough, straighten both legs as you do this exercise. If you feel a strain in your neck, use lighter weights.

Do this exercise six to eight times on each leg, pause to rest, and then do the exercise six to eight more times on each leg.