When practicing the triangle pose, many people sacrifice correct alignment by trying to touch the floor before they are ready. Make sure your hips are not falling backward and your bottom arm is not supporting much of your weight. Here are two variations that encourage proper alignment.
-- Karen Voight
1 Stand with your legs three to four feet apart. Turn your left thigh outward with your toes pointing to the left. Turn your right thigh slightly inward, toes pointed slightly left. Press the outer edge of your right heel into the floor. Now reach out with your left rib cage as you lean left. Wrap your right arm behind you and grasp your left inner thigh. Pull your abdominals in toward your spine and move your hips forward, lifting the front of your pelvis up toward the ceiling, then rotate your chest upward. Place your bottom hand on the floor if possible -- or rest it on the left shin. Pause and breathe fully for three breaths.
2 Slowly raise your bottom arm up and out to the side. If you're doing this pose correctly, your upper body should feel as though it is lifting off your lower body and your legs should be strong and stable. Pause for three complete breaths, then lower your arm and raise your torso out of the pose. Repeat on the other side.
Voight is the creator of a line of fitness DVDs, including "Sleek Essentials."