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The Trilogy behind Trikonasana

Have you ever wondered about the significance of the number 3 in yoga, Vedic literature, Ayurveda, and other related fields?

The Trilogy

Consider this: the three Ayurvedic doshas, namely Vata, Pita & Kapha, the three gunas (qualities) – Rajas, Tamas & Sattva or the practice of pranayama focusing on the three nadis ( energy channels) - Ida, Pingala and Susumna & in yoga the audible sound A-U-M forming the sacred symbol OM.

Each has three elements. Interestingly, the essence of the teachings of yoga is to be able to accept this cycle of three in everyday life. This further reiterates the fundamental truth of life: that everything changes and that change is an essential part of nature's cycle.  


The Mythology behind Trikonasana - Trilogy

Trikonasa is an interesting reference point for the Hindu trinity – Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva. They are the embodiment of creation, preservation & destruction. So, what is the connection between the pose and the Gods? 

According to the Shiva Purana, there was a competition between Brahma, the creator & the God of Preservation Vishnu, about who was the most powerful of them. When the argument reached a dead end, Lord Shiva intervened to teach them a lesson. He manifested into a pillar of light & then assigned them a task, which was to find the origin and end of the pillar. Lord Vishnu admitted his failure, while Lord Brahma lied, stating he was able to locate the origin and end of the pillar. Upset with Lord Brahma, a disheartened Lord Shiva appeared before him & confronted his dishonesty. Eventually, Lord Shiva forgave him. 

The three sides of the triangle in Trikonasana represent the three forces of the universe: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.

Trikonasana further embodies the mind, body, and spirit and represents the interdependence and collaboration of the three forces.

The Triangle is symbolic of stability, strength, and power.

The three lines imply determination, freedom, and perfection.

Trikona Mythology of Mahamaya

Another equally interesting Hindu mythology talks about the demon Mahishasura, the demon who created evil and destruction. So, the Gods came together to put an end to the vicious demon. Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu came together representing the three gunas. Shiva as Rajas, Brahma as Tamas and Vishnu as Sattva.

They called the powerful goddess Mahamaya, who rode on a lion for help. Mahamaya went to battle with Mahishasura and beheaded him. This put an end to the evil demon. Mahishasura is a vivid representation of our mind.

Our minds are constantly distracted by thoughts, perceptions, and illusions, leading us away from the truth. Half the battle is won if the mind is tamed and in control.

What do you learn from these concepts?

These stories stand the test of time and serve as a gentle reminder of the practice of any asana. As we delve deeper into the inner meaning of these stories, we witness how there exists a beautiful correlation between our practice and our daily lives.

The Creation

The creation happens when we move towards the asana shape while processing and internalizing mentally how it is done at a physical level.

The preservation

Once we understand this, the process of preservation begins when we are able to sustain and hold the pose, engage the muscles and stretch the tissues. Mentally, this is also the time to notice the breath and the thoughts that come and go as we stay still.

The destruction

The last phase is the destruction, when we leave behind the pose and then transition or transform into the next. We are literally letting go and moving on to the next experience.


Now, Let's reflect on these simple yet thought-provoking aspects and ask ourselves an important question.

Can we simply be fully alive and present for the cycle of creation, preservation, and transformation from one moment in life to the next?

This may be a perspective to reflect on during the next yoga practice, not only during Trikonasana but every time you begin, stay, and transition to the next asana.


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