Triangle Pose (Trikonasana): This classic yoga pose stretches the muscles of the hips, groins, hamstrings and thighs, as well as the calves, shoulders, chest and spine. It also strengthens the legs, including the stability of the knee and ankle joints. It also stimulates the abdominal organs and improves digestion. Extended Triangle (Utthita Trikonasana) is reputed to relieve stress, anxiety, infertility and symptoms of menopause. When beginning to learn this pose, it helps to initially keep the gaze down, and then, as one feels more stable, balanced and open in the pelvis, one can turn the torso and gaze first to the side and then upwards.
Pyramid Pose, also known as Forward Facing Triangle or Intense Side Stretch (Parsvottanasana), is a forward and torso twist that strengthens and lengthens the leg muscles, particularly the hamstrings. It is a superb stretch for active people who walk, hike, jog, run, cycle, or play various team sports. The hands can be in various positions – on the ground on either side of the front foot, hands in “T” or “airplane” position, hands clasping opposite elbows behind the body, hands in reverse prayer position, or hands clasped behind the back and extended. The latter three hand positions act to open and stretch the muscles of the chest, arms and shoulders, which tend to get shortened while hiking and backpacking, as well as while driving, working on computers, carrying children, or playing musical instruments.