Beginner Yoga and Gymnastics Pose for Strength and Balance: The Tripod

Exercise / Sunday, May 27th, 2018

A tripod is the first step to inverted poses in gymnastics or yoga and is fairly simple to do. A tripod is the first gymnastics or yoga pose because it requires the least amount of strength and balance to complete.

It will also help you move into a headstand position and build up strength in the shoulders and core. Once you have learned to balance for 30 seconds or longer in the tripod pose, you will be ready to move on to more difficult gymnastics or yoga positions.

Before beginning, you will likely want to buy a good mat to do these poses. Doing so will save you from falling and hurting yourself on a hard surface.

The first thing you need to do is get on the floor on your hands and knees (on your new mat!). You hands should be about shoulder width apart and directly beneath your shoulders. Next, you will need to place your forehead on the ground slightly above your hands, so that your head and your hands makes a triangle. A triangle makes the tripod much easier to balance than having your head and hands in a row. If you do have your head and hands in a row, you will be much more likely to tip forwards or backwards and fall.

Make sure that you are attempting the tripod in a clear area where you will not topple into anything hard or sharp edges. Once you have your hands and head in a triangle roll up onto the top of your head and bend your elbows to 90 degrees. This should all feel natural. If it doesn’t, adjust your hands forwards or backwards to get comfortable. Next, lift your right knee off of the ground and place it on top of your right elbow. Make sure you are balanced and then lift your left knee up and place it on top of your left elbow. If your elbows are at a 90 degree angle it should be easy to rest your knees on top of them.

Now you are in a tripod pose. At first the pose may be hard on your neck. Try to shift most of your body-weight to your hands. If you feel you are tipping towards your back, shift weight over your hands. If you feel you are tipping towards your stomach, shift more weight over your head. You shouldn’t have a problem with tipping to either side if your hands are at shoulder width apart. Practice sitting in the pose for longer periods. It is safest to come back down out of the pose the way you got into it. Just set one knee down and then the other before lifting your head off of the ground.