Sunday, July 29, 2007


Triangles are arguably the strongest geometric shape in the universe. And I have been thinking and talking about them a lot of late. Symbolically, triangles denote action, dynamism, strength or point to a direction of movement.

Great societies have used the triangle form to build the world's most astounding structures. The Egyptian pyramids continue to be an architectural marvel thousands of years after their construction. The Roman arch beautifies and fortifies doorways, bridges and cathedrals throughout the former empire. Late 1800s US engineers' understanding of the triangle's efficient distribution of weight paved the way for today's mega skyscrapers. A cosmic triangle represents past, present and future states of the universe.

Triangles are just as present in realms outside physics and construction. Christianity has the Holy Trinity and Judaism the Star Of David. Hindu has the Trikona, the Vedic symbol of Shakti, denoting the feminine or aspects of Creation. Yoga has a Triangle Pose, the Utthita Trikonasana. The Chinese Bagua contains trigrams, fundamental to philosophical concepts of the I Ching, Toaism, Feng Shui and Martial Arts. Goethe's relationships of color begins with his Primary Color Triangle. Knights in shining armour rescue damsels in distress and both are tested by evil villains, making up the Power Triangle of Sociopaths for modern psychologists . Even Hollywood has their blockbuster trilogies in the Godfather, Star Wars and Batman.

Triangular diagrams work for 3 parts that are strongly linked or equal in value. Supposedly, the US branches of government would work for a triangle diagram. Alexandra Stoddard communicates her principles of design with a triangular formula of appropriateness, beauty and simplicity. My family unit is a sum of 3 equal parts; Jessica, Doug and Carolyn.

Every Pilates session taught by a Fletcher teacher begins with attention to the feet's 3 weight bearing points. The "foot centers" make a tripod on the bottom of the foot that connects us to the earth. Optimal posture starts in the body by organizing and stabilizing over the feet. We have also begun to teach the "magic triangle" that is made from the 3 points of the pelvis, one each on the front and back. The triangle imagery works just as well for the shoulder girdle.

Somehow, it brings me a sense of wonder at the moment to contemplate the meaning and purpose of triangles. They provide a useful metaphor for distributing the weight of my concerns or pointing me towards a direction or particular action. The triangle is helping me find equality, balance and underlying strength.

Skyscraper, New York City
Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Tampa
Mezquita, Cordova Spain
Triangle Pose, Bikram Yoga
Eye Of Providence, Great Seal Of The United States
Baby Heart Shaped Feet

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