It’s the pinnacle pose in Bikram’s series, designed to use every muscle in the body: trikonasana, or triangle pose. It comes about 45 minutes into the sequence, right after I’ve built up a sweat and am breathing hard. In my first few weeks of yoga, the instructors corrected my leg positioning (open them up wider!), but then after that first month or so, I just…haven’t done the posture.
Sure, I try, every once in awhile. But to be honest, with my legs spread that far apart, trying to sink down into my pelvis, it feels like I’m going to break in half. The sweat pools make my feet slip, and I fear losing control. So, with the justification of being tired from a long workout so far, and not wanting to hurt myself, I’ve sat out of this pose. For the last 7 months or so. Only trying it sporadically, and then giving up, because really I don’t even want to do that pose.
But a week or so ago, I went to a posture clinic at my studio, and something profound happened when he was explaining to focus more on the arms in the posture, specifically the top arm reaching it up, and when I tried it I was able to sink down into the pose for one set on each side. I felt super proud of myself! And when I told the owner, Gina, about my breakthrough, she was really excited, and said something profound: sometimes trauma is held in the hips.
I had told her that when I sat down in the pose, it felt like my pelvis was going to shatter, and the feeling was EXACTLY like how I felt right before Potamus was birthed out my tiny little vag-hole. The whole concept that this pose could be bringing up birth trauma felt SO REAL, and it actually helped me to even verbalize that…yes…two and a half years later I can say…my birth experience was traumatizing. Was it amazing in the result? Yes. Was the whole thing taking only 4 hours and feeling completely batshit out of my mind traumatizing? Yes. Was having my water break and him come crowning out in one fell swoop amazing in retrospect? Yes, who wants to do hours and hours of pushing? But was it fucking scary in the moment? YES!
And in triangle I’ve been feeling that. Hot. Sweaty. Tired. Completely overwhelmed and knowing the rest of the class stretches out ahead of me. Sinking into my hips and feeling just like I’m going to give birth again. Totally trauma held in my hips.
I have no idea what this information will do to change my pose. Maybe I’ll try it more and be easier on myself. But knowledge is power, and I hope to use it to my advantage!