Muscle Engagement in Triangle Pose, Including Mula Bandha and Uddiyana Bandha (the deep core!)Mar 20, 2023
Probably every Vinyasa class I've ever been to has Utthita Trikonasana (extended triangle pose).
Certainly every Ashtanga practice has triangle on each side (followed by revolved triangle). And yet, as ubiquitous as it is, triangle pose can be quite difficult! There are so many parts of the body to think about, and so little time when you hold the pose for five short breaths in a class.
Read on to hear about my top four parts of the body to engage in triangle pose, as well as a short explanation of the mysterious Mula Bandha and Uddiyana Bandha!
1. Energetically squeeze the legs together.
This helps to activate the inner thighs! In my experience, this action can also can help activate the Mula Bandha, which can be understood in a Western sense as the pelvic floor muscles (although in yoga refers to a more esoteric system involving chakras and energy channels in the body).
2. Pull the low belly in and up.
This helps you feel light in the pose! Also know as Uddiyana Bandha, when you engage the core muscles you take some of the weight of your body out of your joints.In fact, "Uddiyana" literally translates to "upward flying" in Sanskrit. This lightness makes yoga poses easier and more sustainable, including triangle pose. Ever seen a yoga pose on Instagram and thought it was impossible? Here's the secret.
3. Press down through the ball of the front foot while...
4. ...simultaneously pulling up through the bottom hand.
This creates muscle engagement in the arms AND front leg, as well as in the core.
HINT: Don't have the bind? (The "bind" is when the index finger and middle finger grip between the big toe and second toe, while the thumb holds the outside of the big toe). In that case I recommend resting the bottom hand on a block. Root down through the block in order to rise up out of the shoulder joint. The active pressing down through the bottom hand is important–if you don't press down, it is difficult to lift up!
Experiment with engaging more in your triangle pose, and let me know how it goes!
Love & Light,