Stand with your back against the wall. Place your feet two or three feet apart. Keeping feet firmly on the floor, and weight balanced on heels and toes, stretch your body up, pressing shoulders back and allowing arms to hang at your sides. Inhale.
Exhale and slowly bend from waist, sliding your right hand down the right side as far as it will go. Shoulders should press back and hips should remain level, pointing forward. Head should be turned to the side, so that it's at a right angle to the body. Hold posture for ten slow counts, inhale and come up to starting position. Exhale and repeat on left. Inhale and come up to starting position.
Exhale and rest a moment. Inhale and slowly raise arms to shoulder level, palms down. At the same time, point the right foot to the right at a 90°
angle while keeping the left foot turned in slightly. Exhale and bend to the right, sliding hand down to ankle or foot. If possible, touch the ground behind foot. Pull hip square against wall with left hand and turn head to look up.
Inhale and raise left arm straight up over head so that arms are in a straight line. Keep hips and torso against the wall as both arms stretch, one down and one up, touching the wall. Hold posture with smooth, even breathing for a slow count of ten. Inhale, come up and repeat on left.
Trikonasana helps produce excellent spinal flexibility. It stretches the legs, back and neck and helps to loosen up the hips and make them strong and flexible. It's also, to some extent, a balance posture; in yoga, it's believed that the skill developed in physical balance has a profound effect on the mind, quieting unruly emotions and creating calm. It's one of the best postures for slimming the waist, hips, arms and legs. Remember to breathe deeply in when stretching up and breathe deeply out when bending the body downward.
The Side-Angled Stretch
Stand straight against the wall and stretch the feet about three to four feet apart. Inhale and raise arms up to shoulder level, palms down. Point right foot to the right and slightly turn in left foot. Bend right knee to form a right angle, with thigh parallel to the floor and the shin vertical. The knee should be directly above the ankle. Stretch the back leg and tighten the knee.
Exhale and stretch right hand down to rest on floor behind right foot. Turn head to look up and press left hip flat against wall with left hand. A strong pull should be felt all along the left side. When you feel comfortable, stretch the left arm up and press it against your ear so that from left heel to left hand the body is stretched and extended. Hold this position for a slow count of ten, making sure that upper shoulder, hip and bent knee are pressed against the wall. Inhale and return to starting position. Exhale and repeat on left.
This posture produces overall health. It tones every muscle, tendon and joint in the body. The heart is revitalized and strengthened, and, if crooked, the spine is stretched and realigned. The hip joints, which can weaken with age, become stronger and more flexible. The neck is stretched and made more flexible, easing the pain of stiff, tense muscles and spondylosis. Thighs, hips and waist are firmed. Even digestion is improved.
Remember to lie down and relax after your yoga practice. Relaxation after exercising helps the body to recover, regulates the flow of blood, and calms and soothes the mind. That way you do not feel tired but refreshed and invigorated.
(Note: This article is the opinion of the author and may or may not be substantiated by scientific fact.)