Pose of the Month: Parivrtta Trikonasana
(Revolved Triangle Pose)
Writing & Model: Chrisandra Fox
Photography: Faern, faernworks.com
Spring is just around the corner. Like the dawning of a new season, pregnant and potent with possibility, spanda is the creative spark and vibratory impulse that births our deepest intentions into the living fold of our reality.
Spanda is vibration, a throbbing, pulsation. The Tantras describe the origins of spanda in manifold ways and as a dance of evolution and regression, expansion and withdrawing, recognition and the concealment of one’s own Divine Nature.
“This ‘subtle swelling’ is the seed state of all phenomena and is the bliss of consciousness, as the awareness it has that ‘I am everything’” (The Stanzas on Vibration, Dyczkowski, 52).
When we “follow our hearts”, when we are guided by our inner-knowing and when we attend to the natural rhythms of our bodies as they align with the rhythms of nature, we increase our spanda. The result is vitality, unbridled and spontaneous creativity and a natural movement towards personal growth that can positively influence everything around us.
Our yogic practices pave the way for living a “spanda-full” life, and twists provide a particularly rich environment for directly experiencing the pulsation of spanda. As the body literally turns off its center, an awareness of that center springs forth, bringing us “back” to center, even as we twist.
Twists help wring out the internal organs, assisting detoxification and helping us to literally change our minds and shift perspective, purifying and cleansing the very fabric of our physical existence. Twists liberate our essential life energy and “integrate the opposites” of activity and passivity, the masculine and feminine, the solar and the lunar.
As you practice Parivrtta Trikonasana, notice the ways in which you experience expansion and withdrawal. Notice where you feel open, and where you experience resistance at the level of body, mind or breath. Adjust your body as needed and connect with the energy that is moving your breath. As your prana flows more freely and your body begins to open, stay attuned to your own vibration – to your sensations and emotions just before arising, to the space between thoughts, and to the essence of your very being.
Stand with your feet placed widely apart. Turn your right foot out at a 90° angle, and turn your left foot in at 45-60°. Align your heels, or for greater stability keep some space between them.
Place your hands on your hips. Ground strongly through your left heel and spread your weight evenly through both feet, into your heels and across the bases of your toes. Draw your quadriceps strongly up and rotate your thighs in lightly to encourage the support of mula bandha (root lock).
Now work your outer right hip back and wrap your outer left hip around until both frontal hip pointers, your navel and sternum are facing front.
Lift your arms up overhead. On an exhalation, turn your belly to the right and keep that length along the left side of your body, extend your torso forward and down, bring your left hand to the pinky toe side of your right foot. Place your right hand on your right hip and encourage a strong pull back so that your hips are level and your right side waist is not collapsed.
Exhale, coil your ribs to the right and turn your belly, chest, neck and head, twisting strongly off your left hip. Lift your right arm up toward the sky, lengthen your fingers and spread across your hand.
Feel the grounding and the stability of your legs, and use this sensation to encourage a release of tension from your forehead, your eyes and the base of your skull. Draw your chin in lightly and soften the orbits and the backs of your eyes.
Inhale, draw the breath in toward your heart, into your side ribs, upper chest and the spaces between the vertebrae of your spine. Exhale and twist, wringing out the organs in your abdomen and releasing any excessive effort.
As you twist, still feeling connected to the earth, keep awareness at your heart space. Within the heart is the pulsation of pure consciousness and everything that arises from this seat of witnessing. Can you soften and melt into that deep presence, witness the unfolding of sensations, emotions and thoughts, allow each to dissolve back into the expanse of your pure conscious being?
Feel the unwinding, spiraling energy through the central channel of your spine, the inward and upward rising movement and the outward and downward flowing of energy. As you exhale, continue to find the internal support of your root and gently draw your navel towards your spine to integrate and weave these intertwining directions of energy.
When you are ready to come out, inhale and lower your right hand to the floor, release the twist. Slowly lift back to center. Stand in your wide-legged stance for a moment and allow your body to integrate the work of the twist. Feel the waves of pulsation and your own vibration.
With a steady breath, take the second side.
Chrisandra Fox teaches Parivrtta Trikonasana and other spandifying yogic practices in 6 weekly classes at Yoga Tree. She leads The Heart of Renewal Retreats in California and beyond. Email Chrisandra@gmail.com