Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose) is a standing twist which stretches the muscles of the outer hip and lengthens the hamstrings while toning the legs, back, and sides. It is an awkward pose, to be sure, and it's a little bit harder than it looks.
The challenge here for most practitioners, myself included, is balancing the pelvis. The front hip must be continually tucking back, and the rear hip moving forward to bring the pelvis into balance. If the hip abductors or rotators are weak, the gluteus maximus will engage to compensate which causes the pelvis to tilt posteriorly and collapses the low back. This throws the hips out of alignment and makes it difficult to ground into the back foot, which anchors the pose, resulting in a battle of the opposing rotations of the pelvis versus the torso and a teetering, misaligned pose.
I practice Parivrtta Trikonasana with the palm on the floor to the inside of the foot, as pictured, so that I can focus on really grounding through that back heel, which never wants to stay down. It's difficult to tell from the photo, but my left heel is not quite on the floor, which is an accurate representation of how this pose generally plays out in my practice. Tight hip abductors and short achilles tendons have made progress in this pose slow going. It has been one of the least comfortable postures for me since the beginning. The yoga teacher in me says that this means I should practice it every day, but I don't. I was for a while, and made significant headway, but these days, not so much. Let's change that, shall we?
For the next week, I will practice Parivrtta Trikonasana every day with mindfulness and honest effort. I will observe myself in the pose and attempt to discern a path in the direction I wish to move, toward space and groundedness. I will report back on my findings.
I gather that Parivrtta Trikonasana is an awkward and uncomfortable position for many practitioners. Readers: what's your experience with this pose? How do you prepare the body? Which variations do you prefer to practice?
And, as always, a flow...
Parivrtta Trikonasana Sequence: Use standing twists as an effective way to warm and open the hips.
1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
2. Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
3. Parivrtta Utkatasana (Revolved Chair Pose) - Bring hands to heart center. Twist to the right.
4. Parsvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose) - Step the left foot back to lunge variation.
5. Parsvottansana (Intense Side Stretch Posture)
6. Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)
7. Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Half-Moon Pose)
8. Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana (Standing Splits)
9. Uttanasana (Intense Stretch/Standing Forward Fold)
10. Repeat steps 1-9 on the opposite side.