Last night during our yoga session we concentrated on Triangle. This is considered a gateway posture. Our instructor asked us to think about the gateways that were being opened for us at that moment. Obviously she wasn’t looking for us to answer her but to answer ourselves. Triangle in Bikram and Triangle in vinyasa are very different. In Bikram we have a bent leading knee not trailing over the toes but parallel to the ground with a straight back leg, our leading elbow is on the inside of our knee gently pushing the knee back but keeping the knee in line with the big toe. Shoulders in one line extended in opposite directions. Your gaze is up towards your extended fingers.
Vinyasa Triangle is a straight leading leg, knee in line with the big toe. Hips open and facing wall, hand either on the shin or outer side of the foot. Back leg is straight and strong and shoulders in one line extended in opposite directions. The heart center is leading upward not downward. Your gaze is up or down depending on your neck and how it feels. This is a hard posture to feel comfortable in whether the Bikram style or the vinyasa style. The theory is that once you find your comfortable spot you could stay here for hours. I have yet to find that comfort and for me I’m usually thinking about when I can get out of the posture and move on.
Last night she had us in this posture for what seemed like an eternity but really was rather only minutes. She came around and gently adjusted us to open our heart center, or to adjust our hips and to straighten our extended arm upward. That arm has to be straight and strong. She did allow for breaks when we needed them and everyone needed a break from time to time. When you are in this posture and you are thinking about all steps it takes to get into the posture and stay in the posture it is difficult to really dig deep and figure out what gates you are opening.
Breaking down postures becomes part of the practice. The practice can be and should be different all the time. The next time I’m in Triangle it may be that I get a little more comfortable and can look for those openings. At one time Triangle was one of my favorite postures but I got out of the practice of doing it so I’m starting over again. Also, I’m little bit distracted thinking about my husband and if he is ok and if anything is hurting him in the posture. My practice should be my own but that is easier said than done when your loved one is on the mat next to you. By the end of this session going into the next session I won’t worry about him because I’ll know he found his groove but until part of my thoughts will be on my practice and the other part will be on his practice.
To give you an example when we are headed into a posture that I know is difficult I will go into the modified version first to show him what he can do then once I know he understands what I’m doing then I will go into my version which might not be full expression but closer to full expression than the modified version. Many times people just need to know that there are steps they can take before full expression so they don’t overdo it. Considering he has been using a heating pad since our first session I know he over did it so I’m helping to not overdo it in future classes. As we get more classes under us I will have confidence that he knows what he is doing and let him do his thing. At that time I can get serious about my practice also. Maybe that is my gateway to myself and my own practice that I need to explore while in Triangle for an eternity.