Practice Right Rotation
If your navel and breastbone are turned toward the floor in the pose, your neck will have to overwork as you turn your eyes to look at the ceiling. You may want to move your Trikonasana back to the wall and work on rotating your torso by moving your left waist, ribs, and shoulder closer to the wall. With your front body facing straight ahead, turning your face and your gaze upward will just be the icing on the cake.
Finally, a word about how the shoulder blades can contribute to neck discomfort in Trikonasana. If your everyday posture includes tight neck muscles holding your shoulder blades halfway up to your ears (which often accompanies a forward head), it's likely that you'll bring that tension into the pose.
Stand again in front of a mirror, lift your breastbone up off your heart, and ease those shoulder blades down your back. That's the same action you'll need in Trikonasana, and it's handled by the lower trapezius muscles in your midback. In the pose—and in daily life—increase the distance between your ears and your shoulders on both the left and right sides, like a turtle sticking its head out of its shell. Visualize having a beautiful long neck, smooth neck muscles, and full freedom to turn your head in both directions. Then practice it, and it can be yours.
Julie Gudmestad is a physical therapist and Iyengar Yoga teacher in Portland, Oregon.!--page-->
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