Triangle Pose (Laterals, Lower Back, and Hamstrings)

09.05.2016 |

Episode #8 of the course Quick yoga poses at the desk by Elaine Oyang


The following exercise is a modified version of the Triangle Pose in yoga. Here we utilize a wall for balance, as well as to get into deeper layers of the lateral muscles along the sides of our body.

8.1 Quick yoga poses at the desk

What you need:

– A wall space

What to do:

1) Stand with the right side of your body facing the wall, about one foot away.

2) Step your left leg away from the wall to create a wide stance. Turn your toes slightly outwards.

3) Gently place your right hand against the wall and lean in toward the wall so that your forearm and elbow are eventually against the wall. Keep both legs straight. Note: If you find it difficult to completely lean your right forearm into the wall without bending your right knee, step closer to the wall and/or shorten your stance. If you don’t feel too much stretching going on, take a step away from the wall and/or widen your stance.

4) Inhale, then raise the left arm up toward the ceiling with the palm facing in toward the wall. Exhale, then stretch the left arm toward the wall. Stay for 5 slow breaths, focusing on the breath expanding the waist and ribcage.

5) Release the left arm and stand back upright for a couple of breaths for observation before turning around to do the other side.

Why this works:

Our slumping sitting position not only affects our chest and back, but also shortens the muscles along the waistline. Quite often, most of us have a preferred slumping side, meaning we might lean more into the right waist (shortened right waist) or left waist (shortened left waist). This stretching exercise not only helps lengthen the waistline, but also brings our attention to our own postural habits by observing which side feels tighter when stretched (the tighter side most likely means that you compensate more on that side).


Recommended book:

“The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker’s Guide to Extraordinary Living” by Stephen Cope


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