Trikonasana Catches My Back


#1

Can anyone shed some light on why my back ‘catches’ almost every time I do trikonasana? Even if I am barely bending and my hand isn’t lower than my thigh, coming out of the pose seems to pinch a nerve (or that’s what it feels like anyway) - it’s very painful and I dread and fear the pose because of it. My experience is that this doesn’t happen in any other asana, only trikonasana. I used to suffer from back pain fairly regularly but only very occasionally for the last few years except when doing this asana (once in as long as I can remember - although, admittedly, it was the same feeling in the same place but intensified and happened while I was bending over cleaning the bath). It catches somewhere in my lumbar area on the right hand side. Any insight or feedback would be much appreciated.


#2

In my yoga teacher training, I learned that you should not keep your hips in one line (as if between two panes of glass), instead let your top hip come forward. I had the same issues as you and this completed made it go away. I did have the problem in a class though when the teacher came over and adjusted my hip back and I could barely walk for days after that.

I hope this helps!


#3

Thank you, that’s really interesting - I have always been taught to do it in the pane of glass alignment. I will definitely try that and let you know how it goes. Thank you so much for your response and insight, much appreciated. I hope I have the same result that you did!


#4

Could you provide more information please? Is this occurring on both sides? Are you placing the lower hand on the floor, on a block, or on nothing at all? What safety elements are you engaging for lower back and knee that has been taught to you by your teacher (so I don’t repeat things you’re already doing)?

The entry to Trikon from standing is a pelvis mobility entry. It is not a lateral side bend of the spine. The spine remains neutral and is parallel with the floor in the final pose. When the pelvis is less than mobile due to trauma or imbalance, the spine would have to compensate unless the pose is modified (by bringing the student up or having them go “less down”). This is what a good teacher is supposed to do in class with you, hands-on. It is why online asana education has heightened risk. It is why poorly trained teachers have heightened risk. It is why “frugal” students have heightened risk.

With regard to the window pane analogies several are using in this thread … there is of course a “plane” of every pose. It is toward that plane that every progressing student is moving - at varying rates, of course. The aligned pose allows for the optimum flow of energy through the physical, organic, and energetic bodies. That said, asana is a self-exploration and to go at any self-exploration with aggression (read: fast, in a hurry, rushing, scheduled) is to invite injury.

I suggest trying the posture at the wall - back to it. A block or two under the lower arm, hand flat and weight born on that extremity. Place the lower hip against the wall and work gently and gradually (without pain) to lift the upper illium from the floor NOT back toward the wall.

Best wishes for a profound practice.

Gordon