At the core of every yoga sequence is balance and flow. Movements must blend together to naturally engage your muscles while facilitating a rhythmic breathing pattern. The transition poses neutralize your body, preparing it for the next position in the yoga sequence. Transition poses also act as a bridge between standing and sitting or lying positions. An effective transition pose seamlessly fuses the positions proceeding and following it the sequence without being taxing or awkward.
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The downward triangle, sometimes called the bent triangle, allows you to smoothly transition from a standing or bending position to one where you're sitting or prone with a supine spine. The position starts with your feet flat on the ground and approximately 3 feet vertically apart. The splayed position of your legs forms a triangle, while you center your weight evenly between the front and back feet by tightening your thighs and core muscles. The later part of the position requires bending at the waist and placing one palm flat on the ground while the other hand remains straight up over your shoulder. Ending the position with your hand supporting part of your body weight allows you to move your legs under your waist and into the next position.
Downward Facing Dog
Unlike the triangle position, which distributes weight through your lower half, the downward facing dog position places the bulk of your body weight on your upper torso and shoulders. This position requires balancing your weight through your arms and back while keeping your pelvis high in the air, as it forms a peak between your hands and feet. The balls of your feet stabilize the lower half of your body but don't bear as much weight as your arms. The downward facing dog is an effective transition for raising yourself from a face-down supine position to a standing pose. The lack of torso twisting in the downward dog lets you streamline your movement, making it ideal for fast-paced yoga sequences.
The cobra position stretches and prepares your body to transition from a face-down prone position to a full standing or partially standing yoga pose. The supine position of your spine in the cobra pose offers a momentary pause that stretches through the front of your torso and down your lower back. Bringing your hands forward and raising your body using the balls of your feet is a gentle way to enter the next phase of your yoga sequence.
The kneeling lunge squares your hips while positioning your upper body in an upright position. The foot in front of your hip remains flat to support a 45-degree angle bend in your knee. The other leg extends behind your rear as you balance your weight on your knee. Resting your weight on your front, bent leg makes raising yourself easier as you walk your back foot forward. Other variations of this pose include raising your arms straight above your shoulders or twisting your spine to the side with one arm parallel to your front leg and the other parallel to your back leg. Twisting your torso in the kneeling lunge neutralizes your spine but also makes balancing your weight more challenging.