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Triangle Territory

The Warrior is symbolic of balance and strength. All aspects are interdependent. It is a posture where everything is included, nothing separate or separated and nothing excluded or left out. These separate parts, when they come together, engage as one. They form a union, an embrace of all aspects, all together at the same time. So the Warrior is not just about balance and strength but also about being present, bringing a heartfelt sense of wholeness.

In yoga, the triangle as well as its warrior variations and side angles, there is barely a part of the body that isn't engaged with breath, the earth and its pull of gravity as well as a soft focus of open eyes, which in yoga is called drishti.

Triangle pose offers a more collaborative approach to managing our inner conflicts and contradictions. Through strength, balance and wholeness, It presents every changing opportunities to work through difficulties with our self and eventually with one another. In its fullness, Triangle presents the option of creative expression, developing stamina and resilience as opposed to aggression or repression.

Triangle is a form with three sides where everything is supported by the base, resting on the Earth whilst engaging wit the pull of gravity. This includes the feet, the toes, the legs, the arms, the fingers, the torso, including the gut, the internal organs and the glands.

There are 206 bones in the human body, half of them are in the feet and hands.

The feet with their many muscles, joints and bones push downwards as well as apart and away from each other, leaving us with a felt sense that distance is being increased between them in creating and inhabiting a space in which to welcome the breath. And at the same time, within the feet themselves can be felt a varying degree of pressure on any party of either of the feet at any one time. This gives a firm foundation from which the posture may expand from within.

We also need to be aware when considering expansion, that the opposite may also happen. This is known as collapse. And if we do not respect and work with the breath to uphold and expand the inner territory of the posture, including the feet, we may experience the detachment and anxiety that comes with disconnect of body and mind from breath, known as collapse.

Not just a physical collapse, where the posture moves out of shape, but also a mental and emotional collapse whether the mind has wandered away from the focus and integrity of the posture body leaving the emotions, energy in motion, to well up into overwhelm bringing with it a sense of defeat.

In Ancient Egypt the Pyramid has its own symbology:

Base: Body

Sides: Spiritual Aspirations

Apex: Union between the Human and the Divine

In Taoism the three sides are treasured as Loyalty, Strength and Respect

In Yoga it is Mind, Body and Breath often referred to as Spirit. These 3 together affect Strength, Balance and Flexibility in both Mind and Body so the Breath/Spirit may flow with ease.

Tamas, Rajas, Sattwa Three qualities in nature

Ida, Pingala, Shushumna Three main energy channels located around the spine

Vatta, PItta, Kapha Three constitutions. In Ayurveda, sister science to Yoga

And interestingly, in Chinese Medicine it is the Meridians, 'lines of energy', that mostly run in pairs, that are impacted when we take a 'shape in yoga.' Pressure, with a weight bearing affect, is put through the bones, muscles, joints, the ligaments that make up the posture we are assuming, such as Trikonasana, the Triangle or Virabhradrasana Warrior.

Here are the functions of these 'lines of energy' that become engaged in

Meridian Lines:

Liver: Circulates energy to maintain flexibility of joints and ligaments

Gallbladder: Regulates removal of toxins produced by the liver

Kidneys: Produces bone marrow and blood, regulates testosterone

Pericardium: Protects the life force around the heart ensuring emotional balance

Small Intestine: Digestion, water absorption, bowel evacuation, nutrient absorption

Bladder: Removal, of toxins from the body

Stomach: Extracts nutrients from food for digestion

Heart: Regulates blood flow to organs and the brain

Large Intestine: Regulates the processing and extraction of water from waste

Lung: Controls how energy is consumed an d impacts the respiratory system

Triple Warmer: Regulates metabolism of the body for optimum health

So there are many ways of exploring and understanding Warriors and Triangles along with their many variations. Each may give a different facet to our understanding of what is activated by the posture while raising awareness of its infinite potential for deeper and deeper experiences.

Workshop: Monday March 19th Tythe Barn, Potential for Playfulness


Sarah Powers, Insight Yoga

Thomas Hanna, Somatics


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