Yoga Today class several months ago. I remember the first time distinctly: the instructor cued us while in a bound side angle to straighten the front leg while keeping the bind. My hips and hamstrings balked. I thought, she must be joking. But I gave it a try, and in the process was reminded of the importance of humility on the mat (and in life, damn it!). The tough ones seem to have a way of growing on me, and Bound Triangle has been no exception.
I always enter this asana from Bound Side Angle, apparently also known as Bound Warrior in some circles. In my experience, the key to the twist is to keep the chest open and reach up toward the ceiling (or the sky, if one were so fortunate as to be practicing outside) as you straighten the front leg. I recommend keeping the knee slightly bent if you're feeling any tension around the knee or hip joints. This is a very deep active stretch.
Below is the rear view of the same pose, done on the other side. I noticed when I saw the photo that I grabbed with the wrong hand. Mistake! That's probably why it looks a bit less open on this side. I wondered, at first, why my left elbow was so bent until I saw my binding error.
"the wrapper is the grabber!" (Swenson, Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual). In other words, the arm that wraps around the leg is the same hand that grabs the wrist, or the fingers of the other hand, or a strap, or shirt, or whatever you can get a hold of comfortably.
I like to practice bound triangle in a flow as follows:
- Virabhadrasana I (Warrior 1)
- Virabhadrasana II (Warrior 2)
- Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle)
- Baddha Parsvakonasana (Bound Side Angle)
- Baddha Trikonasana (Bound Triangle)
- Return to Baddha Parsvakonasana (Bound Side Angle)
- Bird of Paradise Pose
- Release on an exhalation and step back to Parsvakonasana
- Repeat on the other side.
Where have you seen Baddha Trikonasana, and how do you incorporate it into your practice?