|Laura DeMent, RYT|
Practice Utthita Trikonasana at home:
1. Step your feet wide (3-4 feet) and extend your arms up to shoulder height. Check that your ankles are directly under your wrists, if not, adjust accordingly.
2. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees (so that it's pointing toward the top of your mat), and turn your left foot in 35 to 45 degrees (to the right).
3. On an exhalation, extend your torso to the right, directly over the plane of your front leg. Hinge at your right hip crease and let your right hand drop to your shin, your ankle, or the floor behind your right foot.
4. Extend your left arm toward the ceiling with your shoulders stacked. Turn your left palm in the same direction as your face and turn your gaze toward your left thumb.
5. Breathe evenly, in and out, through your nose. Hold the pose for 5-7 breaths, then hinge up to standing on an inhalation. Repeat on left side.
Benefits of Trikonasana (from YogaJournal.com):
- Stretches and strengthens the entire leg from the hip to the ankle.
- Stretches side body
- Stimulates abdominal organs.
- Improves digestion.
- Relieves stress.
- Relieves back ache.
- Therapeutic for anxiety
She adds, "I have had a hard time with my neck in this pose. I had a teacher tell me to make my head parallel to the floor, then move the skull back in space, then turn to look up toward my thumb. This set of instructions made a big difference for the comfort of my neck in Triangle."
Unroll your mat and give Utthita Trikonasana a try today!
Laura was first introduced to yoga in 2002. At first, she enjoyed yoga as a form of exercise that did not bother her knees. As she continued her practice, yoga became a way to live her life in a balanced and healthy way. In 2005, Laura was asked to sub a yoga class and realized she would enjoy teaching. That fall she enrolled in OM yoga's Weekend Warrior teacher training in Indianapolis and graduated in 2006.Laura's teaching is inspired by her teachers, Seane Corn, Chris Crews, Frank Mauro, Ramanand Patel and Laura Spaulding. Her classes focus on alignment, breath, flow and the use of props to make the asanas (postures) accessible to all students.