Angle of Repose
You don't have to be Pythagoras to enjoy a great Triangle—and get the health benefits of this valuable standing pose.
Whether you loved or loathed high school geometry, you probably never dreamed that learning about triangles might someday help you protect your back, improve your posture, breathe more deeply, and decrease the wear and tear on your hips.
But it's true: A refresher course on the geometry of triangles can help you understand how to do Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) more easily and reap the benefits from it. The actions in Triangle may seem subtle, but they can have profound consequences. When you're folded sideways into Triangle, you build strength in your torso muscles, which support the weight of your spine, rib cage, and head against the pull of gravity. As you train the muscles around your shoulders to keep your arms in place, you're not only teaching yourself not to slump but also opening your chest so your lungs can expand more fully. And the increased range of motion you eventually experience in your hips means you distribute wear inside the joints over more of their surface, rather than consistently stressing only a small part of the cartilage lining the joint.